Andrew Crofts admits he is ‘gutted’ to miss chance of Norwich City return

Andrew Crofts in action for Brighton, before his first knee injury picked up 10 months ago. The midf

Andrew Crofts in action for Brighton, before his first knee injury picked up 10 months ago. The midfielder will miss Saturday's Carrow Road return. - Credit: PA

Former Norwich City star Andrew Crofts is gutted he will miss his Carrow Road return with Brighton on Saturday.

The 30-year-old midfielder suffered his second serious knee injury in the space of 10 months in October, ruling him out for the rest of this season.

Before returning for a second spell on the south coast in August 2012, Crofts enjoyed two seasons under Paul Lambert at City – winning Championship promotion and playing Premier League football. But on Saturday, Crofts will watch from a distance: 'It was one of the first fixtures I looked at when they came out, Brighton versus Norwich at Carrow Road,' said Crofts.

'It was one I was really looking forward to. I had two great years there with some of my best memories in football. So I'm gutted I can't play in it. It's a little too far for me to travel with the knee – if I was a bit further down the line, I would have made the trip.

'I'm six weeks post-op so it's still the real early stages. To compare it to the first time I did it, that was quite smooth sailing and this one feels probably better than that did at this stage.

'The first scans looked like it was only something minor and it wasn't until the surgeon opened it up that he found a nasty surprise. That's what made it harder to take.

'I'm a really positive person, but that first week was so tough. I'm over the initial shock now though, and just looking forward to working as hard as I can to come back next season. Obviously doing my knee isn't great, but there are a lot of people worse off than me.'

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Despite his old club's current stumbles, Crofts is confident City will come good – as well as his current club.

'I watched the Bolton game and I was really impressed with Norwich,' added Crofts. 'I know a lot of the boys there still and they've got a real strong squad.

'They will be challenging for promotion, so we know it's going to be a tough game but we've got a good squad too and the manager (Sami Hyypia) has been brilliant. The boys really like him.

'It's a new set of lads so we're still building the relationships, but we're not too far from stringing the results together.'

• Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey