Sheffield United have been rocked by news that Harry Chapman, their on-loan midfielder, suffered a potentially serious injury during a freak training ground accident.
Assistant manager Alan Knill confirmed the England under-20 international returned to Middlesbrough before yesterday’s FA Cup tie against Bolton Wanderers after damaging an ankle membrane last week.
Chapman, who had been set to feature at the Macron Stadium, is expected to be ruled-out until the New Year although Knill insisted his agreement with United has not been terminated.
“It’s not a great injury, the medical staff have told us that,” Knill said. “We haven’t really got a timescale to be honest but we think it will go into January and then we’ll take things from there.
“The door to him isn’t closed though. He’s an exciting young player and it’s not shut for both parties. We spoke to Middlesbrough and they were delighted that he was here.”
“It was a strange one,” Knill added. “There was no one anywhere near him. He’s just put his weight on his ankle, he’s gone one way and the joint has gone the other.”
United will be absent from the third round draw for the first time since the 1981/82 season after being beaten 3-2 by Phil Parkinson’s side. Despite criticising the team’s attention to detail against their League One rivals, Knill insisted United are well-placed to repeat history by winning promotion after failing to reach the competition’s later stages.
“At the start, everybody knew what the priority is,” he said “Yes, we wanted to go as far as we can in the cup. But, if you ask Sheffield United supporters would they rather have a run in the cup or get out of the league, I think I know what the answer will be. So, we made changes accordingly.”