City talisman Darren Huckerby tonight revealed it was in fact a hip problem and not a groin strain ? as everybody had first thought – that was keeping him on the sidelines after the flying winger made a 55-minute comeback for the reserves tonight at Carrow Road.
Huckerby took up his favoured 'left-ish' position for almost the first hour as City ? watched by boss Peter Grant ? demolished Luton Town 4-0.
In truth, he was moving a little gingerly, but that is to be expected of a man who has no pre-season whatsoever under his belt.
There were no trademark jinking runs or thunderbolt goals but the fans' favourite will just be happy to get through the encounter unscathed ? if not a little sore.
“It's not 100% if I'm going to be honest but we're working at different ways to get it 100% and I've just got to get through it best I can,” admitted Huckerby.
“It's not my groin, it's my hip. They thought it was a groin problem but it is definitely my hip. I did have a groin strain but the bigger issue is my hip.
“We're trying to manage it and hopefully we'll get the training sessions and the games in and we'll be back to full fitness.
“I didn't really have any problems tonight but it's something I've got to manage now. I can still feel it a little bit but I knew that was going to be the case.”
And despite the ongoing uncertainty over this hip complaint, it must have been good to be pulling on the yellow and green shirt again? – a first at reserve team level for the Nottingham-born front man.
“It was good, I've probably had two days training with the ball in eight weeks so it is good to be back with it but I'm still a long way off.
“I'm probably eight weeks behind everybody else so it's going to take a bit of time but it was nice to be out there.
“It has not been great to be sitting out for this length of time. It has probably been the longest time I've been out in my whole career but it comes to everyone I suppose so hopefully I can get through it and it won't hold me back too much.
“I'm not too good at watching the games. Even though the results have been good, we haven't played as well as we can but the lads have dug in. Hopefully when everyone is fit and firing on all cylinders we can push on.”
Despite an unbeaten Canary start to the season, City chief Grant will be surely be tempted to involve Huckerby at some point at the KC Stadium, Hull, this weekend, although it may just come too soon for the former Leeds man.
His general fitness levels are not in question but does he possess the sharpness needed to make an impact at Championship level? After all, that is what D Huckerby is all about.
We shall see?
“How close am I to making Saturday? I don't know to be honest,” Huckerby added.
“That is for the gaffer to decide. Like I say, I've only trained for two days so if you look at it like that then I'm still a bit off but hopefully as the days go by then the pain will get easier.
“I'll probably travel with the boys on Saturday to Hull but the lads have been doing ok. The performances haven't been great but the results have been good so I would have thought he'll keep the same team.
“We've been very resolute so far and we've been tough to beat but looking at the Southampton game, they were on top for 65 minutes or so.
“Until the back pass, we didn't look like we were going to score and then Curo (Jamie Cureton) pops up with two brilliant strikes and won us the game. I thought we were fitter than Southampton and that really showed near the end of the game but we didn't play as well as we can do.”
As for tonight's game, it was one of the most one-sided contests you'll ever see.
With several first-team members on show, City always looked too strong for their League One opponents and were two-up just after the half-hour mark after goals from Ryan Jarvis and a headed effort from the impressive David Strihavka.
The second-half saw the Canaries ? marshalled by Jim Duffy from the sidelines ? double their advantage after a curling Chris Martin free-kick and a Matthew Halliday shot from the edge of the box.
Martin ? playing in central midfield ? was simply outstanding, as was Strihavka, Michael Spillane and Matthew Gilks in between the sticks.
Plenty for Mr Grant to ponder?.
City Reserves: Gilks; Cave-Brown, Spillane, Halliday, Eagle; Smart, Rossi Jarvis, Martin (McLean 88), Huckerby (Lathrope 55); Strihavka (Renton 76), Ryan Jarvis. Subs not used: Arnold, Miller.