Glenn Loovens faces a vital test today as he steps up his bid to be fit for the Owls’ Easter programme.
He will rejoin training after missing the last two games because of a hamstring injury.
The centre half must not only come through his comeback outing without immediate ill effect but also experience no reaction, if he is to make the team at Bournemouth on Friday.
But just having him back in training is another boost for the club after Oguchi Onyewu returned quicker than expected to play against Blackburn last Saturday.
“Hopefully Glenn will come through ok and if he does then he’ll come into my thoughts,” said Stuart Gray.
But the Owls will also be mindful of the home game against Charlton on Monday and will assess whether it would be wise for Loovens to play in both games when they are so close together.
Gray will not want the centre half to experience a recurrence of the hamstring problem and suffer a longer absence.
He and Onyewu both had to go off in the Leicester game 12 days ago. Onyewu picked up a back injury.
Gray said that Reda Johnson is back on the training ground, doing some running with fitness coach Andy Kalinins, but not ready for consideration for a comeback to the league side.
Johnson has had a hip injury and not played for three months.
Jose Semedo, another of the long-term injured, is hoping to play some part before the season is out.
He broke ankle in the home match against Wigan two months ago. “I have started running and it’s been nice and easy without any pain,” he said.
“That is very good progress. I’m happy, the fitness coaches are happy and the physios, who I work with every day, are happy.
“They didn’t expect me to be where I’m at in my recovery, so it’s looking really good.
“I don’t want to put an exact date on it, but with all the progress I have been making over the past two weeks, I think before the season is over I will be fit enough to be selected.
“The past month has been really difficult but now I’m just focused on recovering and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Bournemouth will be without midfield player Harry Arter: he is serving a three-match ban after being sent off in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Yeovil.
Manager Eddie Howe will consider rotating his squad over Easter: “We have a good squad and I won’t hesitate to use it if needed.”