Sheffield Wednesday: Lavery closes in on Owls return

Owls striker Caolan Lavery.
Owls striker Caolan Lavery.
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Caolan Lavery is on the comeback trail.

The 22-year-old striker is running again as he continues his rehabilitation from a cruciate knee ligament injury he sustained in a pre-season friendly with Doncaster Rovers. He could be available for selection come the end of the month.

But Sheffield Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray is refusing to rush Lavery back into the first-team fold.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Hillsborough showdown with second-placed Bournemouth, Gray said: “He’s straight line running at the moment. It’s refreshing to see him out there with his boots on.

“We are not carrying the biggest of squads so the most important thing is when players come out of the treatment room we want them to stay out of there.

“Caolan is a young man who wants to do more but he’s governed by the medical side so we have to be a little bit patient with him.”

Kamil Zayatte and Lewis Buxton are also back running but Joe Mattock will miss Tuesday’s tussle because of an ankle problem. Wednesday are awaiting the results of the left-back’s scan.

Gray said: “Joe’s ankle is very sore and swollen. We will just wait to see what the specialist says after the scan.

“It was not a tackle. He just caught his front studs in the turf and twisted his ankle. It could have happened to anybody but unfortunately it happened to Joe.

“It was unfortunate for him but we have to get on with it.”

Jeremy Helan and Claude Dielna are vying to fill the gap vacated by Mattock. Gary Taylor-Fletcher is pushing for his first start, having arrived on loan from Leicester City last month.

Gray, who is still looking to bring in reinforcements, confirmed Sam Hutchinson had a knee operation last week. The midfielder is unlikely to return to action until the New Year.

Twitter: @DomHowson