Marshall out for the season
CHRIS LAKEY Canaries on-loan keeper David Marshall has been ruled out for the rest of the season with ankle ligament damage. The news on Grant's other walking wounded was mixed.
Canaries on-loan keeper David Marshall has been ruled out for the rest of the season with ankle ligament damage.
The 21-year-old Celtic stopper - who had played five games in a row since moving south - has undergone surgery on the ankle he damaged after 10 minutes of Saturday's FA Cup tie at Chelsea, and is expected to be sidelined for at least 12 weeks.
“It's not great,” said Canaries boss Peter Grant, who is trying to cope with another mini-injury crisis.
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“He could be 12 weeks - minimum. It's as bad as we thought it could be.”
Grant's selections problems were compounded when third choice Joe Lewis, who was on the bench at Preston on Tuesday, suffered a slight strain the following evening when he helped City reserves beat Ipswich.
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Lewis missed training on Thursday, although the signs are that he will be fit for bench duties against Coventry.
The news on Grant's other walking wounded was mixed. Veteran Dion Dublin's chances are rated as “very slight” after he limped off after just 24 minutes at Preston game with a calf injury. His replacement, Peter Thorne, lasted only until half-time before he succumbed to a thigh injury and he is definitely ruled out.
Dickson Etuhu looks set for a return, although his suspension midweek meant he had time to rest a troublesome hamstring, while fellow midfielder Youssef Safri could come into contention after fatigue forced him out of the Preston trip.
Safri played a midweek game for Morocco earlier this month, but while the postponement of the Luton game gave him a free weekend, the efforts of 112 minutes against Blackpool plus 90 minutes on a poor Chelsea pitch four days later have taken their toll.
The assessment of Dublin takes into account his age - and the fact that City travel to Luton on Tuesday and then Barnsley the following Saturday.
“I keep saying to everybody, playing two games on the bounce is very, very difficult at that age,” said Grant. “I know what it is like. No matter how fit you are, just the competitive nature of football and the quickness of the game now it is difficult.
“Thorney was a knee from the goalkeeper, just after he came on,” said Grant. “His leg's the size of two - you'd think he had elephantiasis at the top his thigh.
“It's a nightmare for the boy because I know he has had problems with his injuries, but contact injuries you can do nothing about.”