All-clear for Croft

Canaries winger Lee Croft could be back in action next month after being given the all-clear by specialists.

Canaries winger Lee Croft could be back in action next month after being given the all-clear by specialists yesterday.

Croft underwent a 20-minute exploratory operation in Sheffield on his injured ankle which showed there had been no major damage to his ligaments.

The worst case scenario would have been damaged ligaments and four months on the sidelines, so City boss Pete Grant was a happy man on hearing the news yesterday.

“I am obviously delighted, and delighted for the lad as well,” he said. “He has worked hard and got his fitness up and then has got this injury.

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“It's four weeks, but take into account that he has to get training again and probably get a game under his belt, I think we'll be looking at six weeks.

“But he is a big player for is and will come back stronger. He will now come back and work hard to get back in the side.

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“It's massive for him and I'm delighted for him. He deserves this little bit of luck.”

Croft, who suffered the injury in the latter stages of the 5-0 defeat at Stoke a fortnight ago, has been told that while the ankle did not escaped unharmed, there was no major damage and that he now needs rest and recuperation.

“He's had the arthroscopy and they have assessed the damage and the good news is that although he has damaged a couple of ligaments there's nothing serious enough to warrant a further operation,” said City physio Neal Reynolds.

“That means it won't be the longer scenario of a few months out we might have had. I estimate Lee should be back in around four weeks from this weekend, all things being well.”

The good news on Croft won't stop Grant chasing his mystery loan target, but the City boss says he is prepared to mix and match his wide men if necessary.

“As long as you have players who can play in the wide areas you feel they can play both sides, like Darren Huckerby does,” Grant said. “He can play on the right or the left, he prefers it on the left-hand side so he can come in on his right foot.

“That is definitely a benefit. I find with wide players they are comfortable both sides because they can give you a different problem with full-backs. Chelsea are a prime example - they play left-footers on the right side and vice versa so they can unsettle full-backs, so it is something to look at. We're not at that stage yet, but I always feel wide players are always comfortable playing both sides.”

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