Sheffield Wednesday: Great news for Sam Winnall on the comeback front
Long-term Sheffield Wednesday absentee Sam Winnall is only days away from a return to full training as he steps up his comeback following last month's injury setback.
The centre-forward picked up a calf problem in September while he was entering the final stages of his rehabilitation following February's cruciate knee ligament surgery.
Happily, his recovery from his latest blow has gone so well that he could rejoin his teammates before the weekend.
"Sam is making a very good progression," confirmed manager Jos Luhukay, whose 12th-placed side are at home to Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion tomorrow night.
"We think he can maybe by the end of the week or early next week come back to team training.Â
"He may also be able to play his first games for the under-23s in the next two or three weeks. It's very positive."
Fellow striker Gary Hooper, who hasn't made a senior appearance since Boxing Day last year, is set to have more tests on his troublesome groin.
Hooper was also eyeing a return last month until he reported a problem after two outings for the U-23s.
"There will be further checks," Luhukay said. "He is not training now and hasn't done so for a couple of weeks.Â
"It will take a lot of time before he is 100 per cent available for our team. It will not be a couple of weeks. It will take a few weeks more for Gary to find a way back and be able to help us."
Two other players remain sidelined for the foreseeable future. Midfielder Kieran Lee has a knee issue following months out with a hip injury while centre-half Joost van Aken is still laid low by an ankle complaint suffered against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup in August.
"They are working intensively but it will take time," Luhukay said. "They need a few weeks. It will take time before we can give an exact time when they come back to us."