Will Buckley has spoken of his frustration over the “freak” shoulder injury that kept him out of action for two months.
The loan winger suffered the knock after a nasty collision with Preston North End goalkeeper Chris Maxwell in the Owls’ 2-1 win at Hillsborough at the start of December.
Buckley underwent shoulder surgery and has missed Wednesday’s last 11 fixtures in all competitions.
“It has been a frustrating couple of months,” Buckley told The Star. “I felt like I had trained hard and got up to the level I wanted to be at and then had that setback.
“Obviously, I had waited a long time to get on the pitch to show what I could do but it was just a freak collision with the goalkeeper that can happen to anybody.
“It was just freaky how I fell. The whole of my body weight went on to my shoulder and I popped the ligaments.
“It was one of those things that can happen in football.
“Luckily I managed to stay on the pitch in the last five minutes and help the team win the game.”
After recovering from the op, Buckley returned to first-team training in mid-January. He stepped up his recovery from injury on Monday, playing 75 minutes in the development squad’s hard-earned home win over Nottingham Forest.
“It was good to get 70 minutes or so under my belt,” admitted Buckley. “I have been back in training for two or three weeks now but it is good to play matches.
“I’m trying to get my match sharpness back and hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m back out there again.”
The 27-year-old, on loan from Sunderland until the end of the season, has pledged to do his utmost to persuade Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal he is worthy of a starting spot.
He said: “I’ve not played many games over the last year or so
“It is frustrating to have had the injury but hopefully I will be back in no time. I want to get back feeling fit and strong. I will carry on training hard, try to play well in the games that I get and hopefully the manager will put his faith in me.”
Buckley’s return to fitness is a timely boost for the Owls as Carlos Carvalhal’s charges step up their preparations for a key Hillsborough double-header with Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers. Three points for Wednesday on Friday night against the mid-table Blues would close the gap on the top five and put more distance between themselves and the chasing pack.
Buckley said: “It is good the lads are still winning and getting results and that we are round about where we want to be. The most important thing is we are doing well and kick on for the rest of the season.”