Sheffield Wednesday: Owls boss defends Lee decision

Kieran Lee is closing in on a first-team return.
Kieran Lee is closing in on a first-team return.
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Stuart Gray, the Sheffield Wednesday head coach, has defended his decision to leave Kieran Lee out of his match-day squad against Ipswich Town.

The Owls chief said on Monday there was a strong possibility the midfielder would be named at least on the substitutes bench versus the high-flying Tractor Boys.

Ultimately, Gray decided Lee, who has not played since August 16 because of a long-standing groin problem, was not ready to take part in the Championship tussle.

“Kieran has had one high intensity training session,” said Gray. “I just thought it was too much to put Kieran in the squad.

“The last thing I wanted to do was gamble and put Kieran in there and possibly lose him longer.”

Lee had no complaints over not being included and tweeted: “Just a bit too soon for me tonight... Hopefully Saturday.”

Gray is optimistic Lee, Tom Lees and Sam Hutchinson will be declared fit for Saturday’s Yorkshire derby at Leeds United, kick-off 12.15pm. Kamil Zayatte (hamstring) is unlikely to be involved.