It was a tale of two queues at Colney this morning – one to get various bumps, knocks and strains scanned, the other to secure the services of Middlesbrough's England Under-21 international defender Andrew Davies.
Both featured Norwich City in some shape or guise; both didn't look like immediately bearing much fruit as the Canaries found themselves jostling with Hull City and Southampton in a bid to catch Gareth Southgate's eye.
Gary Doherty was the first in this morning's queue for the scanner – more alarmingly, stood behind him was Ian Murray who, according to luckless City boss Peter Grant, was “finding it difficult to walk” having sustained a whack to the top of his foot in the course of Tuesday night's 0-0 draw with Scunthorpe United.
And then there was Adam Drury with a recurrence of his back trouble…. And Jamie Cureton. He, too, has picked up a foot injury and is off to get it scanned…
“Gary will be scanned today again,” said Grant, his quest to have all hands on deck for next Monday night's crucial away trip to bottom-of-the-table Queen's Park Rangers looking more and more in doubt.
“Jamie Cureton will be scanned; Ian Murray will be scanned; Adam's got a recurrence with his back,” revealed Grant, with Lady Luck continuing to water his strawberries.
Cureton's came as a result of a shot on goal – before Wednesday midfielder Graham Kavanagh had even had a chance to leave his mark on City's top goal-scorer away on the far touchline.
“The other day there, he's had a shot at goal and he's hurt the top of his foot. And that's continued on – and then he got another knock on the exact same place. Sod's Law – same place at the same time.
“He never trained before the game the other evening and I think you could see that he was carrying it a little bit,” added Grant, news of which is at least likely to boost Chris Martin's chances of starting his first Championship game of the season.
“But he (Cureton) was always desperate to play in the game – and that's always a good sign from footballers. And I was willing to take the chance with him because I just thought it was the sort of game where a half chance was going to come along and there're not many better people than jamie Cureton to take half chances than Jamie Cureton. But it wasn't to be.”
Murray's potential absence is the potential bigger body blow – the former Rangers utility man had look calm and composed in alongside Doherty.
And, indeed, was in line to step across to the right-hand side of that central defensive pairing to accommodate Jason Shackell's return from suspension, Doherty's groin giving up and Dion Dublin staying where he is most needed – somewhere near the opposition goal. That little plan could all unravel on the basis of one, unpromising scan.
“Ian again got a kick on the top of the foot and he'll have it scanned – he's finding it difficult to walk at this moment in time.
“So we'll assess that, see how he is – the results of that we'll get back later. Hopefully, that will not give us a problem but Sod's Law – if Gary's out, there's a possibility that Ian will be out.”
Hence even more urgency to the Canaries unending quest to fill that centre-half loan vacancy.
Reports in the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette last night, that City were one of a pack of Championship clubs chasing Davies' signature, were confirmed by Grant. As ever, however, Norwich were waiting on the results of a phone call.
“Andrew is a player that I think has got great potential,” said Grant, with the 22-year-old being able to perform at both right-back and, more crucially, as a right-sided centre-half – a fact not lost on anyone else in the Championship.
“He's got a lot of experience; played in the Championship; played for Middlesbrough in the Premiership; knows the league.
“So, obviously,if he's going to be available, I'd be interested.”
Which he now seemingly is as Boro' boss Southgate opts to go with summer buy Luke Young at right-back and Jonathan Woodgate and AN Other at centre-half. Not only is he available on loan, but the word from Riverside was that he would also be available on a full-time basis come the January transfer window – for anyone with a ?1 million cheque in their hand.
City chief executive Neil Doncaster was at pains to stress today that the manager had substantial loan funds available; that wasn't the issue. Getting a player to come to a club now sat 22nd in the league might be the harder 'sell'. Especially with Hull and Jay-Jay Okocha sat in the queue too.
“I've enquired about him – that's for sure,” confirmed Grant. “But like all good players, a lot of people have enquired about him.
“As I say, we're in there; we've spoken to Middlesbrough about his availability – but we've been doing that for weeks,” said the City chief, whose original loan target, Manchester United starlet Ryan Shawcross, scored his third goal for the Potters last night.
“They've had injuries; he was playing in the team – all them sort of things. So it was no-go on that.
“And that's where it's at really, at this moment in time. We've had no call back to say it's any different. So we'll see how things progress.
“If Andrew was interested in coming, we'd love to have him – if Middlesbrough allowed it to happen.”