Jonathan hits the Grounds running

PUBLISHED: 12:29 19 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 10 September 2010

John Kennedy is helped off the field after picking up an akle injury against QPR on Wednesday night. Photo: Simon Finlay

John Kennedy is helped off the field after picking up an akle injury against QPR on Wednesday night. Photo: Simon Finlay

Michael Bailey

Jonathan Grounds is set to get his first start since joining the Canaries against Sheffield United at Carrow Road tomorrow (3pm).

The 20-year-old defender joined on-loan from Middlesbrough before the summer transfer window slammed shut and after Jason Shackell disappeared off to Wolves.

Jonathan Grounds is set to get his first start since joining the Canaries against Sheffield United at Carrow Road tomorrow (3pm).

The 20-year-old defender joined on-loan from Middlesbrough before the summer transfer window slammed shut and after Jason Shackell disappeared off to Wolves.

But with Norwich City manager Glenn Roeder set to be without on-loan Celtic defender John Kennedy for a few weeks after he suffered an ankle injury in City's disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Queens Park Rangers in midweek, Grounds looks set to continue as Kennedy's replacement from midweek, meaning a first start for the Middlesbrough youngster.

“I thought Jonathan Grounds caught everyone's imagination with how well he played [on Wednesday],” said Roeder at Colney this morning. “So I wouldn't have any concerns or worries about playing him.

“We've bedded him in now. He's been here a couple of weeks, we know him, he knows us and he came on and did exceptionally well, so he looks an excellent young prospect.”

Meanwhile, Kennedy has travelled to see a specialist today, when he is expected to find out the full extent of his ankle ligament injury.

“He is certainly struggling for tomorrow and he might be struggling for a few weeks,” confirmed Roeder. “He's been driving this morning to see a specialist in Yorkshire. Our physio has taken him up there.

“He had an x-ray yesterday to make sure he had no bone damage, which he hasn't, but he's obviously got some ligament damage because the ankle is up like a balloon, lots of swelling.

“We hope it's no more than ligament damage and nothing sinister that we find out this morning, when the doctor reads the scan. But

I spoke to Gordon Strachan first thing yesterday morning to make sure he knows where we are and to make sure we stay in touch with the Celtic physio.”

Jamie Cureton is fit enough to feature after he needed a bandaged head because of a nasty cut during his substitute appearance on Wednesday, but David Bell is still more than two weeks away from his first appearance in a Norwich shirt, after he suffered a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury of his own.

Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell will be without £2million summer signing Darius Henderson upfront after he suffered a freak knee injury in training, but that means he can welcome back the Blades' £4million from last season, James Beattie in attack as he continues his return from surgery earlier in the year.

Sun Jihai is suspended after his sending off in United's 1-1 with Coventry at Bramall Lane in midweek.

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