John Fleck will return to action against Oxford United this weekend, Chris Wilder has predicted.
The Sheffield United midfielder missed last weekend’s defeat at Millwall after being diagnosed with a groin strain earlier this month.
Despite electing not to risk him for the visit to London, Wilder said: “John should be okay. We are confident he’ll get the all clear for the weekend. Obviously it’s difficult to say definitively. But we are anticipating John being available.”
Fleck’s potential availability would present Wilder with a difficult but not unwelcome selection dilemma as he prepares to lock horns with the club he led back into the Football League six years ago. Although the Scot is viewed as an important cog in United’s engine room, Wilder was impressed by Stefan Scougall’s performance on Saturday afternoon. The former Livingston player scored during the 2-1 defeat after being asked to deputise for his compatriot.
If Fleck does receive the green light to feature, Wilder could choose to pair the two men together and drop Chris Basham to full-back following the departure of John Brayford. But, with their team still searching for its first win of the new season, United’s coaching staff would prefer to avoid risking further disruption by changing both systems and personnel after blaming individual errors for the poor start.
“John wanted to play,” Wilder said. “But we could have lost him for longer.”