Injured Drury will have to wait
Chris Lakey Adam Drury's hopes of ending his long injury absence before the end of the season appear to be fading. The Canaries defender hasn't played since limping out of the home defeat against Bristol City in October - 11 days before manager Glenn Roeder took over the Carrow Road hot-seat.
Adam Drury's hopes of ending his long injury absence before the end of the season appear to be fading.
The Canaries defender hasn't played since limping out of the home defeat against Bristol City in October - 11 days before manager Glenn Roeder took over the Carrow Road hot-seat.
Drury underwent surgery on a knee problem and had targeted a return before the final game of the season, at Sheffield Wednesday on May 4.
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But Roeder admitted yesterday that the 29-year-old left back was unlikely to make it.
“No, he is not going to make the end of the season, I don't think so,” he said. “I think he's hanging in there, but in his heart he knows he's not going to.
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“But that doesn't mean he won't get a practice game or two in before we go away for the summer break and that means he goes away with confidence that he played in a practice game and he comes back to pre-season training ready to fly - and I look forward to seeing him as well.”
Luke Chadwick is Roeder's other long-term absentee, after surgery to cure a troublesome shoulder injury which has kept him sidelined since the end of November. However, his prospects of a return this season looks brighter.
“He has started to do warm-ups with us,” said Roeder. “He's not ready for contact yet, maybe another couple of weeks, but again don't rule him out. Chaddy's goal is to be available for the last few games of the season. He's had a great recovery. He's worked his socks off, he really has.”
Spanish defender Juan Velasco is in the treatment room with a pulled thigh muscle suffered during the defeat at Coventry, and could be missing for several games.
“It's a nuisance because he could be three or four weeks,” said Roeder. “It is a concern because he is only on a very short-term contract anyway to the end of the season.
“But Jon (Otsemobor) came in the other day and I thought he did as well as he's done for a long, long time, especially in the first half. That's how I would expect him to play all the time; stepping forward on to things and showing bursts of energy like he did, which he doesn't always do.”
The good news on the injury front is that Roeder could have Darren Huckerby available for today's trip to Sheffield United.
Huckerby has missed the last three games with a groin problem, but trained on Thursday and was due to be assessed again after yesterday's session.
“I think, fingers crossed, Huckerby will be okay to travel,” said Roeder.
Huckerby's natural fitness may well mean he bypasses the subs' bench.
“He is - and I say it kindly as a pat on the back - a bit of a fitness freak,” said Roeder. “He's always working in the gym and keeps himself well toned so if he was fit enough to start who knows. I'd like to be able to involve him if I can.”
There may also be a seat on the coach for 18-year-old Luke Daley, a surprise addition to the bench in midweek, to go alongside the pro contract that was due to be offered him.
“He might travel,” Roeder said. “Basically his pace gives him just a squeak of a chance.”
Roeder also had to decide whether or not to recall Gary Doherty after his one-match ban or stick with Alex Pearce and Jason Shackell in the centre of defence.
t Roeder will address fans publicly for the first time on Monday when he speaks at a Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association forum at Carrow Road. All fans are welcome at the question-and-answer event, which will be held in The Business, in the Jarrold Stand (7.30pm). Entry will be free for NCISA members and £2 for non-members.