Michail Antonio is set for another Sheffield Wednesday outing at Stockport tomorrow after a surprise appearance in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Steaua Bucharest.
Last season’s top scorer is ahead of schedule as he steps up his comeback from the groin injury that kept him out of the final stages of the Owls’ Championship survival fight.
The winger had a brief outing in the second half of the private friendly against Steaua at the St George’s Park national football centre, Burton-on-Trent.
Dave Jones had expected his first pre-season match action to come during the team’s stay in Portugal next week.
But the Owls manager told The Star: “We put him on for 15 minutes in the second half then took him off again. That was the plan.
“We’ll probably dip him in and out again at Stockport, and do the same at Scunthorpe on Saturday. He’s well ahead of schedule.
“He’s getting up to speed and at the moment the games and the training are a fitness programme for him, as they are for everyone.
“I’m very pleased with him and with the fact that we didn’t pick up any more injuries.
Miguel Llera headed a second-half equaliser, and the Owls included a trialist on whom a decision has yet to be made.
Jones added: “It was a good work-out for us, a tough game in the heat against a side who are three and a half weeks ahead of us in their pre-season, and will be playing Champions League football this month.
“We look fit and strong. Yes, some passes went astray, but this was about giving as many people as possible some part of the game, getting them back into it, on a magnificent pitch - it was like Wembley - and they didn’t let themselves down.
“We got the opportunity to play Steaua, so why turn it down? We were just a bit concerned it could be too big a game for us at this stage of our pre-season, but we held our own.”
The Romanian champions open their Champions League campaign this month against Vardar Skopje of Macedonia.