Recovery setback for Henderson

CHRIS LAKEY Canaries boss Peter Grant's jinx on the right-sided midfield position continues, with yet another player struck down by injury. Having lost Lee Croft to an ankle injury and Luke Chadwick to a badly gashed knee, Grant has lost the services of the unlucky Ian Henderson for another week.

CHRIS LAKEY

Canaries boss Peter Grant's jinx on the right-sided midfield position continues, with yet another player struck down by injury.

Having lost Lee Croft to an ankle injury and Luke Chadwick to a badly gashed knee, Grant has lost the services of the unlucky Ian Henderson for another week.

Henderson had only just returned to training when he damaged the same knee that he hurt in his last appearance - at Rotherham in the Carling Cup back in September.


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It means Henderson has missed out on a possible opportunity to impress new manager Grant for the first time - and highlights the lack of depth in the City squad.

With 5pm on Thursday the deadline for signing loan players, Grant's squad is thin on the ground when it comes to cover:

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t His official first team squad numbers 30.

t Five of those are on the injured list.

t One, Matthieu Louis-Jean, is still not match fit after a year out injured.

t Four are untried youngsters unlikely to be up for selection.

t Three are goalkeepers, one of whom, Joe Lewis, has never played for the first team.

That leaves 17 outfield players to choose from for this weekend's game at Hull - including Youssef Safri, who has been trying to shake off the effects of flu which forced him out of Sunday's match at Portman Road.

Although the numbers are there, the flexibility isn't: his available defenders number six - his first choice four plus two players who have just four senior starts between them.

He has five midfielders - including Robert Eagle, who has only just broken into the first team squad.

And he has six strikers, one of whom has been doubling as a centre half and another, Ryan Jarvis, who appears to be out of favour.

Should he be unable, or choose not, to add to his squad, Grant will have his fingers crossed that the injuries which have hampered his team selections since his arrival at Carrow Road in mid-October finally abate.

While Henderson's is short-term rather than long-term, it illustrates the constraints Grant is working under - and the way luck has deserted the Thetford-born Academy product.

Henderson returned to training last week, but just as one door opened, another closed.

With Croft and Chadwick sidelined, Henderson was keen to stake a claim for a right-sided midfield slot - a hope that is now on the back-burner after he fell awkwardly during a training session last Saturday, bruising a tendon in his knee.

“There's been a little set-back,” said Henderson. “I'd been back training about five days and on the Saturday we had a training session before the Ipswich game.

“I fell heavily on my knee and they said I have a bruised tendon so it's another week to recover. It's a minor set-back.”

Minor it may be, but Henderson admits he is keen to show Grant - who has yet to see him in action - what he can do.

But while Henderson would clearly accept any role in Grant's first team line-up, it's the central striker's position, in which he has impressed for England at youth level, that Henderson prefers.

“It's been very frustrating because I wanted to impress the new manager and show him where I want to play, up front in my best position,” he said. “And hopefully when I'm back I can show him what I can do in that position.”

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