Doherty expected to be in mix again

Defender Gary Doherty could find himself back in the thick of Championship action much sooner than expected as Norwich City's injury problems show no sign of relenting.

Defender Gary Doherty could find himself back in the thick of Championship action much sooner than expected as Norwich City's injury problems show no sign of relenting.

Doherty made his first appearance of the season after three months on the sidelines when he replaced Adam Drury just before half-time in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Bristol City.

Now the 28-year-old centre-half, who had an ankle operation in July after being injured in City's first tour match in Sweden, may be needed to keep the Wolves from the door at Carrow Road tomorrow night.

Although Dejan Stefanovic is available again after a two-match suspension, fresh ankle problems for Drury and John Kennedy - to add to Jon Otsemobor's absence with ankle ligament damage - could leave the Canaries' defensive resources stretched to the limit.


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Manager Glenn Roeder was reluctant to use Doherty from the bench so soon after his return to full training last week, but was left with no choice when Drury hobbled off.

Said Doherty: “I was up and down like a yo-yo. There was one point where the two of them went down and I thought, 'I am definitely going to get on now' but, fair play to them, they soldiered on and obviously Adam had to come off in the end, but he did fantastic just to get to 40 minutes because it looks like a bad knock he has got.

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“But from a personal point of view I am happy to get 50 minutes after just five or six days' training.

“You never know how the injury is going to be. I was a bit shaky on Monday in training, obviously, after three months. But on Tuesday and Wednesday I felt a lot stronger.

“I feel my fitness is coming back gradually and I have to take my hat off to the physios - they did a fantastic job for me. During the three months they have kept my spirits high and now I have just got to get fitter and stronger.

“We have a lot of games piled into a short space of time, but I think that's good, especially after the defeat today. Now we can try and get a run, especially as there are two home games. “I love the night time games at Carrow Road and I think all the lads love them so it is something we are looking forward to.”

Roeder said he was “very pleased” with Doherty's contribution, despite the result.

“We've had to put Doc in 10 days before we wanted to, but Doc never let anyone down last year when I came to the club. He's an old-fashioned defender, generally safe, keeps it simple and that's what he did when he came on,” said Roeder.

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