Gary Doherty and AN Other could yet have both Robbie Folwer and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for company tomorrow as Cardiff's two, big name summer arrivals prepare to make their Championship debuts against the injury-hit Canaries.
Fowler walked away unscathed from the Bluebirds' narrow, mid-week Carling Cup victory over Leyton Orient; Hasselbaink was less fortunate – walking away with his foot heavily strapped, an injured ankle making him a doubt for the trip to Norfolk.
The Dutch striker will now be given a late fitness test, according to Cardiff boss Dave Jones.
“If they are fit they will play tomorrow,” said Jones, talking to tonight's South Wales Echo.
“They both came through 90 minutes in mid-week ? and that was a bonus.”
What would be a big bonus for both clubs would be the sight of a fresh face or two walking through the door before this summer's transfer window officially slams shut tonight until January.
Unofficially, of course, Football League clubs also have the option of playing the 'emergency loan' card and bringing in players on loan once the dust has settled on this evening's events.
With Cardiff skipper Darren Purse out injured and off for a scan on a damaged knee, the hope in South Wales was that Jones and his chairman Peter Ridsdale would swoop for a reinforcement at centre-half.
Replace the words 'Cardiff', 'Darren Purse' and 'knee' with 'Norwich', 'Jason Shackell' and 'ankle', and you could easily make a similar case for hopes in Norfolk.
And as the clock ticked down towards the midnight hour, so the feeling remained that Canary fans are likely to get the same answer as their Bluebirds' counterparts – let's wait till the autumn loan market opens for business.
Let's have an 'emergency' then – with the 'loan window' opening again on September 7.
“It is unlikely we will bring anybody in although we have made several enquiries,” Ridsdale told the Echo this evening.
“There is a marginal chance that three players might go out on loan. And we will use the emergency transfer card in the next three weeks.”
Which is pretty much the line that City boss Peter Grant has been taking of late – insisting that when it came to value for money, and the quality that he was looking for to take the Canaries on, the English Premiership was not the place to do business.
You also sense a 'ripple effect' spreading both north across the border into Scotland and 'south' into the Championship with agents and players alike now expecting to be paid Premiership-style wages – witness Luke Varney's ?17,000-a-week package at Charlton Athletic.
Or rather Premiership-style wages of maybe, 18 months ago. West Ham United, in particular, have re-written that particular rule-book with the eye-watering sums they have thrown the way of Scott Parker, Lucas Neill, Craig Bellamy and, presumeably, Kieron Dyer.
Hence why Grant is tempted to wait the three weeks to see who pops out of the back of a over-staffed Premiership squad and which will clubs will, therefore, be prepared to make a contribution to that player's wages if Norwich were to keep him match-fit and active in the Championship for three months.
That all said, given the gloomy looks that accompanied news of Shackell's injury yesterday, the temptation to do something now must be gnawing away at the City chief – if he can find the right piece that, in his mind, fits.
Alternatively, given that City now have a two-week break with which to (a) recover from their Rochdale bumps and bruises and (b) hit that loan market hard come September 7, Grant may yet try to patch 38-year-old Dion Dublin up for one game and hope his experience and basic know-how can keep Messrs Fowler and Hasselbaink under wraps.
Should Dublin's general stiffness not allow it, the Grant's options are even less appealing given the potential nature of the opposition – either throw in teenager Michael Spillane or ask the luckless Ian Murray to get off his sick bed and try his hand at being a left-side centre-back.
Finally, Grant could give up on finding a second centre-half altogether; go three at the back with Jon Otsemobor to the right, a fit again Adam Drury to the left and then flood the midfield with whoever is left standing.
Either way, the manager's hopes of finding some consistent performances on the back of some consistent team selections look as far away as ever as he picks up the pieces from that marathon effort at Spotland.
Fortunately, Fowler was busily telling the official Cardiff City website that the dream strike ticket still had a little way to go before hitting their full potential – Hasselbaink has to shrug off his ankle knock first.
Likewise Fowler himself is only just back from a slight thigh strain – his 93-minute outing against Orient was his first full game of the summer.
“I thought we did OK as a partnership to be fair. We got in there a few times,” said Fowler.
“I think it is always going to be a little bit difficult when a new partnership starts out, but we created and almost took a few of the chances in our first competitive match together.
“Hopefully we can build on that and with a little bit more match sharpness have it come together,” he added, on the official Bluebirds website.
He wasn't far away from opening his account for the South Wales side – he did hit the bar twice.
“Generally, I thought that we were a touch unlucky against Orient,” said Folwer. “We had a few half chances and caused some last-ditch defending if you like, which probably robbed Jimmy and me from getting a goal or two.
“I was also unlucky to have the woodwork get in he way on two occasions, but thankfully we won the game and we came through it OK.
“And I thought that I did OK, although I could have been a touch sharper.”
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