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Sunday 21 January 2018

Good news for Ireland ahead of Austria clash as Robbie Brady returns from head injury

Norwich City's Graham Dorrans (left) celebrates with his team mate Robbie Brady
Norwich City's Graham Dorrans (left) celebrates with his team mate Robbie Brady

David Smith

Robbie Brady returned to the Norwich team last night for the first time since his nasty head injury against Georgia.

The Irish midfielder was stretchered off the pitch at the Aviva after a clash of heads with Soloman Kvirkvelia in Ireland's 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Georgia.

It was revealed afterwards that the 24-year-old was conscious in the dressing room, but missed out on Ireland's 3-1 away win in Moldova.

Norwich boss Alex Neil was reluctant to rush Brady back into action after the incident.

"Robbie's welfare is more important than us getting him ready for a game. There are rules in terms of concussion but it would be nine days [on Saturday] since he had done the injury. That is not our main concern. It is making sure Robbie is functioning okay," Neil said ahead of the Rotherham game last weekend.

The Dubliner missed that game, but returned last night to join Wes Hoolahan in the starting eleven for the trip to Fulham.

Graham Dorrans scored a brace from the penalty spot to hand the Canaries a 2-0 lead at half time, but the home side produced an impressive fightback in the second period.

Stefan Johansen and former Norwich striker Chris Martin both found the net in the second half to Slavisa Jokanovic's home side left rescued a point.

The draw means that Norwich have now failed to win at Craven Cottage since 1986.

Newcastle took advantage of the Canaries' slip to go top of the Championship, as they beat Barnsley 2-0 away courtesy of a Dwight Gayle double.

Brady was nominated for the Irish Overseas Player of the Year this week, alongside Jeff Hendrick and Shane Long.

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