Worthy's wait on Earnshaw knock

CHRIS LAKEY Canaries boss Nigel Worthington says he's confident that star striker Robert Earnshaw will be fit for the resumption of Championship hostilities at the weekend.


Canaries boss Nigel Worthington says he's confident that star striker Robert Earnshaw will be fit for the resumption of Championship hostilities at the weekend.

The City hitman picked up a wrist injury playing for Wales against Brazil on Tuesday and said later it was "very painful".

Should it be enough to rule him out of Saturday's trip to Coventry it would be a major test of City's meagre squad resources.

With no Earnshaw, Worthington would have options, but not many - veteran Peter Thorne has just eight minutes of league action under his belt this season while Ryan Jarvis has featured only in the Carling Cup win at Torquay.

Leon McKenzie would have been in contention - but he'll be watching his new side Coventry from the Ricoh Stadium stands.

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Earnshaw picked up the injury in the opening 20 minutes against Brazil and played on after treatment.

However, while he was clearly in discomfort, the good news was that an X-ray revealed no broken bones.

"I just sort of turned and fell on it," said Earnshaw, scorer of four goals in five matches this season.

"I put my wrist down and sort of jarred it and it's very painful right now. I did it quite early on which didn't help through the game - I was half struggling. It was very sore out there."

Earnshaw made way for David Cotterill 13 minutes from time and immediately had his wrist examined.

"I've had the X-ray," he said. "I've not quite broken it, but it is very, very sore to be fair. It didn't show a break, thank God, but it might as well be. That's how it feels.

"Will I be okay for Saturday? I hope so - I think so. We'll check it out once I get back to Norwich and see the physio and see how it goes."

Worthington says he's confident that Earnshaw will be available but added: "The injury is being assessed, hopefully it will be nothing major and he will feature on Saturday. There's nothing broken and it's just a bit sore."

Earnshaw's Wales team-mate Carl Robinson, City's Republic of Ireland defender Gary Doherty and midfielder Youssef Safri, who was with Morocco, all returned to Colney with a clean bill of health.

Worthington could well do without any other headaches as he concentrates on the loan market, in which he is busy trying to bring in a loan keeper after the news that young reserve Joe Lewis had suffered a fractured cheekbone.

The teenager could be out for another three weeks after sustaining the injury in last week's reserve team clash against Leyton Orient - leaving Paul Gallacher as the only keeper in the first team squad.

Worthington's search begins tomorrow when the transfer deadline cooling off week ends and Championship clubs are able to bring in loan players.

"I'm trying to get a goalkeeper in because of Joe's situation. He suffered a fractured cheekbone against Leyton Orient and that could be four weeks out," said Worthington, who may have to put rookie academy keeper Steve Arnold on the bench at the Ricoh Arena.

"Obviously that leaves us short of goalkeeping options and that is something we are looking at with regards to possibly bringing someone in on loan.

"There are a couple of targets who we will be working on and we just have to wait and see what is available and go from there."

Worthington also dismissed reports that he was interested in taking Portsmouth's out-of-favour central defender Andy O'Brien on a temporary deal.

O'Brien, whose first-team opportunities have been restricted by Soil Campbell's arrival at Fratton Park, is apparently ready to move on loan to put himself in the shop window for January's re-opening of the transfer window and has been linked with City, along with Derby, Sunderland Birmingham.

However, centre of defence is not a priority for Worthington, who is still looking to add a left back and a target man to his squad.

"Andy O'Brien is a player I like and admire but there is nothing in that one," he said. "We are still looking for the other areas but there's isn't a lot about."