Leon out for a month

Leon McKenzie's ill-fated season took another turn for the worse yesterday when it was revealed that he would be missing for up to a month with the injury he picked up just after Christmas.

Leon McKenzie's ill-fated season took another turn for the worse yesterday when it was revealed that he would be missing for up to a month with the injury he picked up just after Christmas.

No sooner had the Norwich City striker returned to action after shrugging off one ankle knock than he picked up another one after coming on as substitute during the 2-1 victory over Burnley on December 28.

McKenzie missed the rest of the Canaries' festive programme as a result and is likely to remain on the sidelines for some time to come, with a sympathetic Nigel Worthington unable to set a firm date for his return.

The previous knock kept the player out for four months and although there is no suggestion that the new problem is serious as that it's still a cruel setback for a man who has been restricted to just six first team starts all season.

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“Leon is making a steady improvement but he is certainly two or three weeks away yet, maybe even a month - and that's if all goes well,” said the City boss.

“It hasn't been easy for him. He got himself back in the group, was training and was enjoying it. He had a couple of little showings in the first team when he did quite well and then he picks up another knock.”

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Had he been fit McKenzie would almost certainly had played in tomorrow's FA Cup third round tie against West Ham at Carrow Road, with Darren Huckerby serving a one-match ban at the weekend. Now he'll only be able to watch from the sidelines while another player, most probably Ian Henderson, gets a chance to impress.

“You always miss a player of Darren's quality and pace, you always do,” said Worthington. “Somebody else has got to come in now and do a job - it is as simple as that.”

Ryan Jarvis might also have been given a rare opportunity to impress had he been fit, but he is still some way short of a first team comeback as he continues his recovery from a niggling knee injury.

“We are trying to build up the muscles around the knee so when he comes back he stays back,” added the City boss.

With eight players out for sure tomorrow Worthington is keeping his fingers crossed that defenders Adam Drury and Jurgen Colin both come through late fitness tests after picking up injuries during the 3-0 home defeat against Preston. Drury failed to last the full 90 minutes on Monday after sustaining a back injury which also caused him pain in a hamstring while Colin was also substituted before the end with a groin problem.

“Adam is a doubt, it will be a last minute decision with him, while Jurgen is also touch and go,” explained Worthington.

Jim Brennan and Rossi Jarvis are the men most likely to step in should City's regular full-backs fail to make it, with the manager confirming yesterday that he no intention of breaking up the successful central partnership of Gary Doherty and Craig Fleming to plug a gap elsewhere.

City's Premiership Reserve League fixture at Fulham on Monday night has been postponed because of the home side's involvement in the FA Youth Cup. That's a blow for defender Jason Shackell who hoping to make his comeback in the game after over three months on the sidelines with an ankle injury and a bout of flu.

The Canaries' Academy fixture at Arsenal, which was scheduled for tomorrow , has also been called off because the Gunners' youngsters are currently on tour in Mexico.

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