Doc takes medicine
David Cuffley Injured Gary Doherty has been hailed as a model patient on the long road back to fitness - but there will be no miracle recovery for the Norwich City centre-half.
Injured Gary Doherty has been hailed as a model patient on the long road back to fitness - but there will be no miracle recovery for the Norwich City centre-half.
Doherty has been sidelined since suffering an ankle injury in the final minute of the Canaries' first tour match in Sweden and had an operation, and while he is making satisfactory progress with his recovery, manager Glenn Roeder admits he does not expect to see the 28-year-old defender back in action before November.
Said Roeder: “He's working very hard. The new physio, Simon Spencer, has been very impressed with him and his motivation, so we're just working away on a daily basis. We're not going to see big improvements on a daily basis with the injury he has. There is a time frame before Mother Nature will allow him to be fit again.
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“We've just put Doc up on the shelf at the moment. I'm not asking the physio on a daily or even weekly basis 'How's Doc?' When I see him, I have a chat with him and ask him how he's doing but basically we can forget about Doc for another couple of months.
“If Doc's playing again before the end of October he will have done incredibly well. We're expecting some time in November for him to be fit to play.”
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Doherty suffered ankle damage after a hefty challenge in the build-up to Jamie Cureton's late winning goal in the 2-1 victory over Ahlafors IF in July.
“It's such a shame it happened to him from the last kick of the game from which we ended up scoring,” said Roeder.
“I would gladly not have scored for Doc not to have got injured because the game didn't really mean anything other than a fitness exercise.
“It's a very unusual and rare ankle injury. He was very unfortunate. It was a clumsy challenge.”
Doherty, City's player of the season in 2005-06, is in his fifth season with the club and signed a new two-year contract in July after impressing his manager last term.
Said Roeder: “Doc was very consistent. I didn't get upset with him too often. I was a little bit upset with him in the last 20 minutes at Sheffield Wednesday. I thought he let his concentration go, but then a lot of the players did that day.
“But generally speaking Doc was very, very sound, very reliable last year and that's all you want your defenders to be, to be safe. And generally speaking Doc was a safe defender last year and that's why I was keen to get him signed up again this year.”