Doherty a doubt as numbers dwindle

PUBLISHED: 09:34 13 April 2007 | UPDATED: 10:14 14 September 2010

CHRIS LAKEY

Norwich City's injury jinx struck again yesterday when central defender Gary Doherty joined a growing list of walking wounded at Carrow Road. Doherty suffered a stomach strain during training yesterday morning and is a doubt for tomorrow's visit to Leicester.

Norwich City's injury jinx struck again yesterday when central defender Gary Doherty joined a growing list of walking wounded at Carrow Road.

Doherty suffered a stomach strain during training yesterday morning and is a doubt for tomorrow's visit to Leicester.

Fellow central defender Jason Shackell is also a concern with a knee injury while manager Peter Grant has lost almost an entire midfield in one fell swoop.

Youssef Safri's season is almost certainly over because of a hamstring injury, while Grant confirmed that the unlucky Luke Chadwick is likely to miss the remaining five games.

There are also concerns over fellow midfielders Simon Lappin and Mark Fotheringham for the Leicester trip.

Shackell got a knock on his knee late on against West Brom and hasn't trained since, although Grant was hoping he would be able to take part in yesterday's session to allow him to make a decision before tomorrow.

Dion Dublin will be on standby for a start in the centre of defence, while Grant could include teenager Michael Spillane as back-up.

But it's the engine room where Grant, whose has already seen his defence and his strike force hit by injuries this season, has been left with a major selection headache.

Right back Jurgen Colin was due to join in training yesterday after a groin injury and that could release Andy Hughes to move into his preferred central midfield role alongside Dickson Etuhu, who has scored in his last two matches.

Grant says previous history suggests Safri's hamstring strain, which forced him off less than halfway into Monday's home defeat by West Brom, would take as long as a month to heal.

"Hamstrings are always difficult ones because you can have slight strains," he said. "But going on Saff's record prior, I think he has always had three to four weeks with any strains like that because of the build and the shape of his body really.

"Hamstrings at any time are a minimum of four weeks because it is too big a muscle to take a chance with and so it could be his season. I hope it's not, but it's a possibility."

Safri joins Chadwick, who has a thigh strain, with Grant pessimistic over the former Manchester United man's hopes of a return before the season ends on May 6.

"I think he is going to struggle if he is going to play before the end of the season as well," he said.

Lappin fractured his thumb against West Brom and will need an operation, although the timing depends on a doctor's verdict, while Fotheringham picked up a back injury after replacing Safri on Monday and is struggling.

"He can hardly move his back the last couple of days so we will give him to the last moment because of the Safri situation," added Grant.

Striker Chris Brown is still out with a back problem, but Adam Drury, who lost a tooth during an aerial collision on Monday, is fit.

Grant has four players out on loan but would be reluctant to recall them - although if the injury outlook remains bleak this morning, it may be a road he is forced to go down.

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