Smith will miss first month of season
CHRIS LAKEY Canaries loan player Jimmy Smith will miss the first month of the season with an ankle injury. The Chelsea midfielder picked up the knock in the second match of City's tour of Holland.
Canaries loan player Jimmy Smith will miss the first month of the season with an ankle injury. The Chelsea midfielder picked up the knock in the second match of City's tour of Holland.
Initial reports suggested Smith had suffered a calf injury, but Peter Grant revealed yesterday that the problem was with his ankle.
"It was awkward, because he's nicked the ball and the boy's not seen him so he's kicked through and it's just the way he's gone over on his ankle more than anything else," said Grant.
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Smith returned from Holland on Friday and underwent scans at Chelsea, who confirmed City physio Neal Reynolds' initial fears.
"We got a scan done when he came back and that's not been as good as we expected it to be," Grant added. "Neal was near enough right with his analysis with the injury and it's proved that way, so I think it will be a minimum of six weeks for him, so that's a big blow for us.
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"We sent him back to Chelsea and they've done the exact same thing as us, they've scanned it. We handled it very well and Chelsea were very pleased with the way we handled it.
"If it suits Chelsea to do the rehab and give him back when he is fully fit we have no problem with that.
"I am sure he will be a big asset for us, but if we have to wait six weeks for his quality I am willing to do that."
Grant has other less serious concerns and will not risk Darren Huckerby (groin strain) against West Ham tonight. Simon Lappin has a thigh strain and is unlikely to feature while Julien Brellier's next appearance could be a run-out against Vitesse Arnhem on Friday.
"I won't be taking any chances on certain individuals because the most important thing about pre-season for me is making sure you have got them available for August 11," he said. "I would rather have a stronger team available to me to select from tomorrow than I have."
Grant added new face number eight yesterday when Darel Russel rejoined City and says he is happy with the way pre-season had progressed.
"It has gone terrifically, in the respect that we got out of the games what we needed, we got out of the tour what we needed," he said.
"The only downside is sometimes you can't get work into all the players because of strains and aches and pains, which you can't do much about in pre-season because you play and train completely differently.
"You train after games whereas you usually have a cool down because you have been working them very very hard. I would rather they miss one or two weeks than five or six weeks.
"Overall I am very pleased. We have new boys in, hungry boys in and I think the age of the squad is a very good age, a ripe age - we have Dion at one end, then the younger boys. I think we look tougher, we have guys with vast experience, like Darel brings.
"Once we have everybody fully fit and raring to go we will be very competitive in this league."