Canary physio Neal Reynolds this morning issued a full and upbeat update on the progress of Canary left-back Adam Drury whose medial knee ligament injury could yet rule him out for the rest of the season.
The last time that City boss Glenn Roeder spoke of the 29-year-old's progress he was keen to emphasise that it might not be a case of sidelined till May; that Drury may yet have a chance of making the tail end of the season after disappearing with what was first diagnosed as a 'calf strain' in the 3-1 home defeat by Bristol City in October.
A dramatic change in diagnosis and one rebuild operation later, and Reynolds was happy to report that the former City skipper was making excellent progress – bang on schedule in terms of his latest recovery timetable.
“He's coming along on course really,” Reynolds told CanariesWorld.
“We've set goals and set times that we're going to work on. His first goal is six weeks, which comes up this Thursday, from the time of the operation.
“So from that point of view he's reached every goal that he's needed to. He will then come out of the brace that he's in at the moment, off the crutches, and then he will start to walk around without crutches.
“From then on it's getting going again. So the first six weeks are the hardest. He's definitely on course. He's reached every goal so far.”
Drury has never been one for much lucky injury-wise. Last season and it was his teeth that proved the biggest headache after a wayward elbow re-arranged both the front of his mouth and the root canals within.
This season and he had already been out with a niggling ankle injury, before real disaster struck as City stumbled at home to the high-flying Robins.
“I tried to get up and play on with it and went up for a header and realised something serious was wrong,” said Drury, told the official Canaries' website this morning.
Reynolds was about to work his way onto the Drury Christmas card list this Yule via what then followed.
“I had a scan on it afterwards and it showed a bit of a calf strain on it. But, luckily, Neal didn't agree with that and took me to see a specialist, and if it hadn't been for that we probably would have been treating it as a calf strain for a while and done more serious damage, so a big 'Thank you!' to Neal for checking it out.”
The Canary physio suspected that something serious was wrong from the moment he arrived on the pitch – he just never had the MRI scan to prove it. Sometimes, it appears, you have to go with your intuition and trust your instincts.
“When I looked on the pitch I said to Adam 'I think you need to come off, I don't think you're going to be able to continue…,” Reynolds added on CanariesWorld.
“It was a bit of a mystery injury. We got it scanned a couple of days later and it came back that he had a calf strain. And sometimes in acute situations these things can happen.
“I must admit we looked at it and it completely surprised me and I said to him: 'I can't believe that's all you've got…' looking at how his knee looked.
“Everyone goes on about MRI scans, but you can't just go on what a scan tells you ? you have to go on what the knee looks like.
“We treated it very gently and hadn't done much with it and about a week later I still wasn't happy with it so we went to speak to a surgeon and from there the rest is history. He agreed with me, we disagreed with the MRI scan and he had surgery that day.”
Speaking for the first time since the operation, Drury was happy enough with the progress he was making – albeit with a large twinge of regret as he sees the on-loan Mo Camara steal his left-back thunder as the Canaries drive on and up the table away from the danger zone.
“It's coming along well,” said Drury.
“Obviously I know it's going to be a long-term thing and when you first hear it it's very disappointing. But the physio team here have worked brilliantly with me and kept me ticking along. They haven't let me get my head down. It's part of the game and you have to get on with it.
“Touch wood, I've been quite lucky with injuries. This is the first thing I've done seriously. But, like I said, it's one of those things and you've got to get on with it. You have your good days and you have your bad days but every day is getting closer to playing again.”
Like Roeder, he is not offerign himself up as a hostage to fortune with a set return date. He'll be back when he's back, was the message.
“You don't want to set dates or anything like that,” he said.
“Just every day that goes by is a day closer to being back training and playing. Looking out there at the minute and training looks fun and the lads look like they're enjoying themselves so you just want to be part of that. So I just want to be back as quickly as I can.
“Any injury is disappointing, but when you know it's not just a couple of weeks or a month it's hard to take. But the lads have done brilliantly so far and I hope they keep it going. They've got us out of trouble and hopefully they can keep climbing the table.”