'He's got to make sure it's 100 percent right' - Canaries legend warns Maddison not to rush his recovery
Norwich City legend Darren Eadie knows the frustration of injuries all too well and is warning James Maddison not to rush his summer rehabilitation.
The Canaries’ star playmaker picked up knee ligament damage on the final day of the season and faces eight weeks of recovery, with the hope of missing just a week of pre-season.
After a breakthrough campaign of 15 goals and 11 assists for the England Under-21 international it remains to be seen whether that will be with City or one of the many Premier League clubs linked with big-money interest.
It is a situation Eadie knows much about after knee problems denied him England recognition and forced him to retire at 28 years old, after 38 goals in 204 games for Norwich had earned him a £3million move to top-flight Leicester back in 1999.
“Don’t rush back,” City’s former winger said. “I was in a position where, I wouldn’t say I was rushed back, but you’re young and you’re eager to get back playing.
“You need to make sure you’ve got a long career ahead of you and James has got that at the very highest level, so for him it’s about making sure he gets it right before he does come back because he will be eager. When you’re playing well you want to get back as quick as you can and playing again.
“But for him he’s got to make sure it’s 100 percent right and actually, from what we’re hearing it’s not as severe as it could have been, so he’s a lucky boy.”
Eadie is one of the Canaries legends preparing to lace up their boots at Carrow Road again, to take on Inter Forever in aid of the Community Sports Foundation at Carrow Road on Sunday, May 20.
But ahead of that fund-raising exhibition the 42-year-old was full of praise for Maddison.
“He’s stood out head and shoulders over everybody else,” Eadie added. “Sometimes people say that’s easy because you do stand out when the team isn’t playing so well but actually it’s very difficult sometimes when you’re playing in a team that’s struggling, to really put your marker down.
“Quite frankly if he wasn’t here this season I don’t know where Norwich would have been. He’s grown up a lot this season mentally, his attitude has changed a little bit and he’s thriving, he’s been absolutely brilliant for Norwich this season.”
Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City were all among the Premier League clubs to be touted with big-money moves for Maddison ahead of his injury.
“It depends what he wants at the end of the day,” Eadie continued. “If he’s about playing then he’ll make that decision or if he is about money then you have that decision to make.
“People think it’s just James Maddison’s decision but it won’t be, it’ll be the club’s as well, because he’s high value at the moment. Perhaps if he comes back next season and doesn’t do quite so well the first six months then his value drops.
“As much as we don’t want to sell him, if you are going to sell him you have to do it at his highest peak, which is right now, but obviously we want to see him play for Norwich next season if he continues to play the way he is.”
• Tickets are £9.93 for adults and £1.93 for U18s and are available at tickets.canaries.co.uk, by phone on 0844 826 1902 or from the ticket offices at Carrow Road, Castle Mall or Chapelfield.
• Find out more information about the Build the Nest campaign at thenest.org.uk
• For all the players announced for the game, see our Build The Nest section