City boss suffering from back problem

PUBLISHED: 12:31 01 February 2007 | UPDATED: 10:02 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

New signing Simon Lappin and midfielder Andy Hughes are among the candidates for a role in the Norwich City defence as manager Peter Grant ponders his options for Saturday's Championship visit of Leeds United.

New signing Simon Lappin and midfielder Andy Hughes are among the candidates for a role in the Norwich City defence as manager Peter Grant ponders his options for Saturday's Championship visit of Leeds United.

Grant's defensive ranks are severely depleted with centre back Jason Shackell definitely ruled out by calf and ankle injuries, skipper Adam Drury suspended and club captain Craig Fleming and emergency defender Carl Robinson both having left Carrow Road on the final day of the January transfer window - Fleming to Rotherham on an 18-month contract and Robinson to start a new career in Canada with Toronto FC.

In addition, Dion Dublin is still struggling to recover from the ankle injury he suffered at Blackpool in the FA Cup, which forced him to miss Tuesday's 1-0 home defeat by Wolves.

Grant admitted that Lappin, who has played as a left wing back at St Mirren, was a “possibility” to replace Drury, while Hughes has also played at full back this season and is fit for selection.

Grant said: “Shackell we are definitely missing and Dion I will give up to the last moment but he's going to have a struggle as well.

“Because Jason hasn't trained for three weeks, he had a problem with his ankle and his calf.

“Forty minutes into the game on Tuesday he was feeling it and at half time you could see he wasn't walking properly.

“Dion's a different case because he only starts training normally on Thursday anyway and if it means giving him until half past one on Saturday, I'll give him that chance.

“Craig is away to Rotherham. That's been done and there's not much you can do about that because I had said prior to this transfer window that if he got an opportunity to go on a long-term contract I felt it was appropriate to do that and I had promised him that.”

Grant said he would have no worries from a fitness point of view in playing either Lappin or his other new signing, midfielder Mark

Fotheringham on Saturday because he was happy with their fitness.

On a brighter note, striker Chris Brown is available again, having served a one-match ban for his sending off at Blackpool.

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