Brellier and Drury face battle

DAVID CUFFLEY Midfileder Julien Brellier and defender Adam Drury are Norwich City's two main injury doubts ahead of the Coca-Cola Championship home game against Southampton on Saturday.

DAVID CUFFLEY

Midfielder Julien Brellier and defender Adam Drury are Norwich City's two main injury doubts ahead of the Coca-Cola Championship home game against Southampton on Saturday.

Frenchman Brellier, who missed Tuesday's 5-2 Carling Cup win over Barnet, is suffering from a “tight groin” while Drury was substituted against the Bees after taking a knock on his ankle.

Said manager Peter Grant: “There's a bit of concern and we'll see how they are over the next couple of days.


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“Julien's problem is probably not having enough games in pre-season. He just gets a bit of stiffness and in the game at Preston last week I probably played him more than I wanted to.

“We'll give him up to the last moment but he says he feels much better.”

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Midfielder Simon Lappin may deputise for Drury if he fails to recover.

Meanwhile, star forward Darren Huckerby has “no chance for the weekend” because of his groin strain, while on-loan midfielder Jimmy Smith has at least another three or four weeks on the sidelines with a calf injury.

Smith is back with Chelsea, receiving treatment, but could be back with City in mid-September.

“Chelsea have been excellent with us,” said Grant. “They have been contacting us all the time to let us know about his progress. The kid's just desperate to get back playing. That's great. He'll be like a new signing when he's fully fit.

“But he's not our player, so you can't push him. I'm hoping in September he'll be back round about the squad.”

Southampton, beaten in their first two matches of the season, are on the verge of completing the signing of defender Wayne Thomas from Burnley.

The Clarets have confirmed that a £1.2m fee had been agreed for the 28-year-old centre half and added they expected the transfer to be completed today.

Manager George Burley's need for a new defender has been heightened by Darren Powell's suspension and Claus Lundekvam's ongoing injury problems.

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