Write down the likely composition of Norwich's midfield tomorrow and as things currently stand, you would probably start to struggle after one name – D Russell.
Fotheringham, no. Smith, no. Brellier, doubt. Lappin, might have to play left-back. Huckerby, doubt. Croft, possible. Chadwick, maybe. Martin, could try it…
And so the list will go on and on as the traditional spate of injuries and illnesses continues to plague Peter Grant's best-laid plans ahead of tomorrow's home clash with Cardiff City.
And nor is there any immediate sign that today's transfer deadline will bring a fresh face. Grant's body language all week has said a dabble at the September loan market. This morning's papers brought nothing of any genuine note.
With a two-week break for the next round of Euro2008 games then to follow, the City boss will at least have a chance to patch some of his side up for the home clash against Crystal Palace on September 15 before those two, back-to-back away trips to Wolves and Charlton.
Victory tomorrow and the Canaries would have given themselves a solid enough platform from which to welcome back Jimmy Smith from his six-week rehab back with Chelsea.
Anything less and two weeks of navel-gazing will follow – something that the returning Russell is keen to avoid.
?You don't want to be dragging on that kind of loss,? said Russell, not fearing the worst tomorrow. Just dealing, quite reasonably, with the odd 'What if…'
?Once you do have a loss like we did on Saturday, you want that next game to come as quickly as possible to try and bounce back from that.
?We definitely want a result – and it's our patch. So we want to try and win games when we're at home.?
Having a fully-fit – and settled – squad to select from always help. That particular luxury continues to stay out of Grant's reach as he juggles with yet another set of selection headaches.
It would, for example, help everyone's cause if Darren Huckerby and Jamie Cureton could start a game together – one clearly has every chance of feeding the other. Whether that opportunity arrives tomorrow is now, of course, in the hands of neal Reynolds after City's two-time Player of the Year made a two-hour comeback in the that trip to Rochdale with Grant having only pencilled him in for 45 minutes.
?Any injury is always difficult, but the boys are trying to push through, get treated and healed up as quickly as possible but obviously it's difficult – especially when we've got so many new players as well trying to gel together and not getting the opportunity to play games and be around eachother on a regular basis,? said Russell.
?It's a difficult situation – but we're doing the best we can at this minute in time.?
Cardiff have their own injury worries, too. Not least Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who was last spotted hobbling across the car park at Ninian Park having picked up an ankle knock in the 1-0 win over Leyton Orient.
With or without the former Chelsea ace, Russell recognises it will be a difficult game. Somewhere in the mix, after all, will be Robbie Fowler.
?They're always a difficult side to play, but we're on our home patch and we're going to be taking the game to them. But when you go down to their place, it's obviously a very difficult place to play down there – a hostile crowd as well.
?We're here at home with our fans and, hopefully, they'll give them a bit of stick and, hopefully, we can get the result that we want,? said Russell, as he followed Jamie Cureton's lead and insisted that Norwich should not be over-awed by the sight of 'R Fowler' on a team-sheet.
?I think that the division is amazing, in a sense, because there's players that you thought that you'd never see playing in the Championship that were playing in the Preniership just a few years ago.
?And that's just a testament to how good the division is at this moment in time. So it's great to see big names down here – and it can only be a good advertisement for the division.?
But not something to worry about. Fowler is at Cardiff for reason; ditto Hasselbaink. The Premiership has moved on.
?I've never been a person to worry about other players I play against because obviously you can only do what you do. It might be an inspiration to see his name on a team-sheet, but you hope people are not going to be in awe of these players.
?These are players that are down here because they are probably not good enough to be playing up there in the Premiership at this minute in time.?
The onus remains firmly on the Canaries to build on that first home win of the season against Southampton; get their Carrow Road form right and take what you can away from home is the start of a play-off formula.
?It is hard, but we're pushing as hard as we can do and, hopefully, as the weeks come on we'll start to gel a little bit more and play a little bit more football and stamp our authority more on the games,? said Russell.
Before kick-off and Norwich willat least know what all their efforts at Spotland were for – the third round draw for the Carling Cup is at noon tomorrow.
?We did it the hard way on Tuesday, but we're in the hat now for the next round,? said the City midfielder, like fellow old-boy Cureton fast settling back into Norfolk life.
?After speaking to Semmy (Otsemobor), he says he wants Manchester United away – that's the big call he wants. He wants a big one away, so we'll see.
?That would be a nice treat for the boys, but obviously we'd like to try and progress in the cup as far as possible. So I'd take anyone and a win.?