Sheffield United’s Caloan Lavery remains on schedule to be passed fit for next weekend’s home match against Port Vale, manager Chris Wilder has confirmed.
The former Sheffield Wednesday centre-forward missed Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy tie with Walsall after straining an ankle ligament earlier this month.
But Wilder, who has expressed concerns about the workload being undertaken by fellow strikers Matt Done and Billy Sharp, last night revealed Lavery is responding well to treatment.
“Caolan should be ready for that one (Port Vale), we don’t envisage there being any problems,” he said.
“He’s been working hard behind the scenes and, all things being equal, he’ll be okay to take part. It will be good to have him back available and again and out there.”
Lavery completed a mini pre-season programme after joining United in August after deciding not to accept a new contract at Hillsborough.
Despite appearing as a substitute towards the end of the match, he suffered the injury during the warm-up before their League One victory over Bristol Rovers a week ago.
With Leon Clarke also nursing an ankle problem, Wilder has been unable to rotate his attacking options in recent weeks.
Having introduced an high-energy pressing game since being appointed five months ago, he recently admitted Done and Sharp were being forced to “do more” than might otherwise be the case.
“They are going to be two big players for us,” Wilder, referring to Lavery and Clarke, continued.
“Billy and Doney have done ever so well lately, the work they’ve gone through has been something else.
“There have been times, though, when it would have really hurt the opposition, I think, if we’d have been able to bring Caolan and Leon on second-half to really shake things-up.
“I don’t think that would be something a defender would particularly look forward to because, like Billy and Doney, they are both a real handful when they’re firing on all cylinders.”
United climbed to fourth in the table following their last minute draw at Fleetwood Town but find themselves out of the play-off positions by the time they face Vale after Saturday’s league meeting with Jon Whitney’s side was postponed due to international call-ups.
“We’ll be working hard and keeping ourselves ticking over,” Wilder said. “Exactly the same as we usually do.
“Obviously the rest might benefit from but, of course, we’d have much preferred to have had a game. Particularly because we’ve been doing so well of late. “