Sheffield United: Baxter makes progress

Sheffield United midfielder Jose Baxter � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
Sheffield United midfielder Jose Baxter � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
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Nigel Clough has refused to predict when Jose Baxter will return to action.

But the Sheffield United manager again insisted Baxter, who has missed the club’s last four games, should return “as good as ever” despite being diagnosed with a hamstring complaint.

“We never put timescales on things like this,” Clough said. “It’s pointless because different people heal and recover at different rates.

“Somebody with exactly the same problem might take three to four weeks. Others, more usually, take six but you just never, ever know.

“The most important thing, rather than trying to guess when Jose might be ready, is just making sure that he is.”

Baxter, previously of Everton and Oldham Athletic, was in scintillating form before being forced to sit-out United’s 3-2 victory at Colchester. The 22-year-old had scored three goals in six starts since Clough’s side returned to competitive action two months ago.

With Michael Higdon entering this weekend’s game against Chesterfield searching for his third goal in as many outings, the pressure has eased on United’s medical department to accelerate Baxter’s recovery.

“We’d never rush anyone back in these situations,” Clough said. “It would be foolish to do that with an injury of this type anyway because, if a hamstring goes properly, then you are looking at a very long time out.

“We’ll always be cautious but Jose is jogging again so that’s good. He did it shooting rather than running at full pelt which is also normally a good sign.”