Shackell winning fitness battle

David Cuffley City defender Jason Shackell is expected to be fit to face Plymouth in tomorrow's crucial relegation battle at Carrow Road - but striker Carl Cort is ruled out for the second game in a row.

David Cuffley

City defender Jason Shackell is expected to be fit to face Plymouth in tomorrow's crucial relegation battle at Carrow Road - but striker Carl Cort is ruled out for the second game in a row.

Shackell was substituted at half-time in Tuesday's 2-0 home win over Cardiff, complaining of tight hamstrings.

But manager Bryan Gunn said the on-loan centre-back's early withdrawal may have spared him more serious problems.


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“We ran the risk had we put him back on there of maybe pulling something, so the decision was taken at half-time not to do that,” said Gunn. “It's given him an opportunity to be fitter for the Plymouth game. Jason will be out with the physios again today.”

If Shackell doesn't recover in time, Gunn is confident his replacement on Tuesday will cope.

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“Adrian Leijer came on and carried on an excellent defensive performance and you wouldn't have known he hadn't played at Championship level. We've seen Adie play at that level now and we know he can so that gives us hope for the remaining eight games,” said Gunn.

Defender Adam Drury is also available tomorrow after missing six matches through aggravating his long-running knee injury.

“Adam was back in training yesterday and is another option for us. He's taken advantage of the rest he's had, he feels good and we're happy he's back within the squad,” said Gunn, who also expects winger Lee Croft to have shaken off a knock he suffered in midweek.

Cort, however, must sit out the action for the second time in five days.

“Carl will be struggling for this week,” said Gunn. “It was too many games for Carl with the type of injury he has and he'll have a rest this weekend and, I hope, be fit for the game at Birmingham.”

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