Shackell has ankle operation

PUBLISHED: 15:08 25 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:23 14 September 2010

RICK WAGHORN

Norwich City defender Jason Shackell will miss the last game of the season after undergoing ankle surgery.

The 22-year-old centre-half - man of the match in Saturday's 1-0 away win at Cardiff City - had an operation yesterday, ruling him out of Sunday's final game of the Coca-Cola Championship season at home to Wolves (1.

Norwich City defender Jason Shackell will miss the last game of the season after undergoing ankle surgery.

The 22-year-old centre-half - man of the match in Saturday's 1-0 away win at Cardiff City - had an operation yesterday, ruling him out of Sunday's final game of the Coca-Cola Championship season at home to Wolves (1.30pm).

“Jason had an ankle operation yesterday,” said manager Nigel Worthington.

“It's more a case of tidying up little bits and pieces than anything. He'll be out for a month to five weeks, but come the start of pre-season he should be fully fit again.”

Shackell missed much of the season with ankle trouble, but returned to form a solid central partnership with prospective player of the season Gary Doherty.

A little niggle has, however, clearly lingered - hence this week's decision to get the tidy-up operation over as soon as possible to enable Shackell to be fit and raring to go again at the start of pre-season training.

“There's been a little problem there that we've known about, but he didn't let that distract him - and that's great credit to him,” said Worthington.

“But we didn't want the thing hanging on for longer than was necessary and, with the season almost over, it was felt that now was the right time to get it done.”

In theory, Shackell's absence this Sunday would have provided the City boss with an opportunity to have a look at youngster Michael Spillane in his traditional centre-back role.

However, the 17-year-old's luck appears in short supply. He, too, could miss the weekend game with an ankle injury.

“He'd actually got over the groin problem last week and then went over on his ankle in the warm-up on Friday,” said Worthington, explaining the Republic of Ireland youth international's absence at Cardiff on Saturday.

“So it's just going to depend on how quickly he responds, but he's desperate to play.”

With Worthington eager to sign off a disappointing season in a degree of style with a seventh straight home win, he may be tempted to go for an old head over young legs and reunite club skipper Craig Fleming with Doherty at the centre of defence, leaving the right-back berth to either Jürgen Colin or, as part of his introduction to first team life, a fit-again Spillane.

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