SHEFFIELD UNITED: Careful Wilson keeping Kitson on sidelines

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DAVE Kitson will not return from injury at MK Dons today, Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson insists, despite making significant progress in his battle to overcome a hamstring problem.

The former Portsmouth striker watched Tuesday’s goalless draw with Swindon Town from the stands after being included in the party which travelled to Wiltshire earlier this week.

Kitson, shadowed by a member of United’s medical team, completed a tailor-made work-out on the pitch less than an hour before the visitors briefly climbed to the top of the League One table.

But Wilson said: “Hamstrings are such a delicate injury.

“You’ve got to be so careful with them because if you push people too hard and they ‘go’ again then you could be looking at them being out for a substantial period of time.

“We’re stretching Kits a little bit more each day and seeing how he responds to that - taking things one step at a time, which is the right thing to do.”

Wilson, who yesterday quashed fears that teenage goalkeeper George Long could leave Bramall Lane for a cut-price fee in January, acknowledged before departing for Milton Keynes that United’s scouting department also maintain a constant watching brief on possible new signings.

Long, aged 19, has kept four clean sheets since it was revealed Mark Howard is unlikely to return to action until the New Year after tearing a muscle at Leyton Orient five weeks ago.

Karl Robinson, the Dons manager, has described this afternoon’s game as “two giants of League One going toe to toe”.

“They have years and years of history, and an awful lot of tradition, while we’re trying to make our own,” he said.

“This is going to be a really good one and so may the best team win.”