Jarvis: Hopefully knee injury behind me
CHRIS WISE Ryan Jarvis has become something of a forgotten man at Carrow Road - but he is hoping that will all change between now and the end of the season.
Ryan Jarvis has become something of a forgotten man at Carrow Road - but he is hoping that will all change between now and the end of the season.
The 19-year-old striker hasn't made a first-team appearance for the Canaries since the dire 3-0 defeat at QPR on October 22, with an unusual knee injury condemning him to a lengthy period on the sidelines.
It eventually emerged that Jarvis was suffering with a friction problem more commonly associated with long-distance runners and he went the best part of four months without playing any football before finally making his comeback for the reserves on Tuesday.
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The England youth international played for half the game as Keith Webb's side recorded a morale-boosting 2-0 victory at Watford - and now feels ready to put a frustrating period of his life behind him.
"I had 45 minutes in the reserves the other night and got no reaction from it at all, so hopefully the injury is behind me now," he said.
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"It was my first game for three or four months and it felt great to be back out there. In fact I loved every minute of it. I was always going to play for a half, but it went so well that I was hoping the referee would add on some minutes!
"There is another reserve game coming up against Chelsea on Monday and hopefully I can play a bit longer in that one - something like 60 or 70 minutes would be nice."
Jarvis started the new season with plenty to prove after two years as a bit part player at Carrow Road. The Fakenham youngster hit the headlines in April 2003 when he came on as a substitute at Walsall to become the youngest Norwich first-teamer of all time.
But after turning 17 and signing a professional contract Jarvis found opportunities hard to come by and went into the current campaign with just 22 appearances to his name, only four of which were starts.
He managed to add only three games to that tally before picking up his injury - so it's easy to see why he is desperate to make up for lost time over the next 10 weeks.
"It's a question of getting games under my belt now," he said. "I haven't played for a long time so obviously I need to build up my match fitness before I can start pushing for a place in the first-team squad.
"If I get through the reserve games without any problems, and impress in training, then hopefully I will get a chance before too long.
"I just want to start playing football again on a regular basis. That's the only thing on my mind. I've got a lot of strikers to get past now, but if you are good enough you will get in the team - and that has always been my target. Having said that I know I have got to be patient."
He added: "It has been a really frustrating spell for me. Every time I ran I was getting pain in my knee. It just niggled at me and prevented me from playing at the top of my game.
"It turned out to be a friction syndrome injury. I could have had surgery on it, but that would have put me out for even longer. So it was a case of resting it up and then making the leg a lot stronger by doing weights and stuff like that."