Sheffield United: John Egan is passed fit for the derby with Rotherham thanks to the Republic of Ireland's 'sensible' handling of the centre-half

Chris Wilder has thanked the Republic of Ireland's medical staff for their handling of John Egan after confirming the centre-half will be available for selection against Rotherham on Saturday.

Thursday, 22nd November 2018, 1:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd November 2018, 1:10 pm
John Egan is expected to feature against Rotherham United this weekend: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Egan was released from international duty last weekend after suffering a calf injury during his country's draw with Northern Ireland.

Although it was initially feared the problem could force him to miss the visit to New York Stadium, Wilder explained the FAI's recognition of how it could impact upon the player's opportunities at domestic level unless immediately addressed had accelerated Egan's recovery.

John Egan was injured on international duty: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

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"They (Ireland) made the decision to send John back and we're delighted they took the sensible approach," United's manager said. "He'd told them he'd felt something there, I think he'd picked it up during the game, and so they took and look and released him, believing it was best he came back here. 

"So I'd like to thank them for that; for the way they handled everything and for making a call that was best for everyone concerned. That was sensible."

The relationship between United and their counterparts in Dublin demonstrates clubs and countries can work together for the common good, despite their often conflicting interests. It has also helped shape Wilder's approach towards international call-ups, despite the inherent risks involved.

Enda Stevens, who also featured in the meeting with Michael O'Neill's side, returned to Bramall Lane on Wednesday while Kieron Freeman and Ben Woodburn (Wales), John Fleck (Scotland) and Dean Henderson (England under-21's) were scheduled to resume training at the Steelphalt Academy today.

Kieron Freeman made his debut for Wales earlier this week: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"We're very proud to see our boys get this recognition," Wilder said. "It was great to see Kieron make his debut and also John going away which, our supporters will think, was long overdue."

"Now they have to get set-back to how we play here," Wilder added. "Get back to the bread and butter and the challenge of trying to stay in our team."

John Fleck worked with Scotland: Simon Bellis/Sportimage