Sheffield Wednesday: Fit-again striker Lucas Joao bids to return against Fulham

Portugal international Lucas Joao is nearing a return to fitness for promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday.

Monday, 14th November 2016, 9:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:51 pm
Lucas Joao in action against Norwich's Ryan Bennett earlier this season. Photo: Steve Ellis

The speedy striker, recruited for an undisclosed fee from Nacional in July 2015, has not featured for the Owls since their draw at Brentford on August 27 due to injury.

But the 23-year-old is edging closer to a first-team comeback, having recently resumed full training.

Wednesday have missed Joao’s ability to stretch defences and his return boosts their attacking options. Joao and Atdhe Nuhiu (illness) were absent from their Hillsborough defeat to Ipswich Town before the international break.

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Joao will be pressing hard for a place in head coach Carlos Carvalhal’s squad for their trip to Fulham this Saturday as the Owls bid to get back on track following two Championship defeats on the spin.

Joao has racked up 51 outings for Wednesday, scoring nine times. Nearly half of his appearances have been as sub.

Marco Matias, Joao’s countryman, remains on the sidelines because of a groin problem. It has been a frustrating period for the versatile forward, who has yet to feature this season.

It is believed Matias, who impressed in Wednesday’s pre-season friendly wins over Chesterfield and Benfica, is likely to start training again come the end of the month.

“Marco started well in pre-season and then he got this problem, “ admitted Carvalhal. “But that is the life of a footballer.

“It is not something that we can control or is in our hands.”