Sheffield Wednesday: Owls are confident Sam Hutchinson will win his fitness battle

Sam Hutchinson
Sam Hutchinson
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Sheffield Wednesday are optimistic Sam Hutchinson will be fit to play in the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final with Huddersfield Town.

Hutchinson was not involved in yesterday’s goalless draw at the John Smith’s Stadium due to a knee injury. Kieran Lee and Barry Bannan lined up in the centre of midfield for the Owls, who failed to register a single shot on target.

Head coach Carlos Carvalhal said Hutchinson, who has only recently recovered from a calf problem, felt a “little pain in his knee” last Friday.

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“Sam twisted his knee two days before the game,” said Carvalhal. “He felt a little pain in his knee.

“I believe he will recover for Wednesday. He trained on Saturday but with a small pain under the knee. It is not something related to what he did before.

“You can’t play 100 per cent when you have a small pain so we decided not to risk him.”

Carvalhal reserved special praise for Keiren Westwood after Wednesday extended their unbeaten run against Huddersfield to eight matches. Republic of Ireland international Westwood produced two vital saves in the second half to Nahki Wells as the Owls claimed a 17th clean sheet.

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Speaking to Radio Sheffield, Carvalhal said: “Keiren is a fantastic goalkeeper and we are very happy to have him. He is probably the best goalkeeper in the Championship.

Sam Hutchinson

Sam Hutchinson

“But the credit is not just to Keiren. The defence starts with [Steven] Fletcher and Fernando [Forestieri] and after with Jordan [Rhodes] and Sam [Winnall] and finishes with Keiren. It was a fantastic team work.”

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