Video: Three players close to making comebacks for Sheffield Wednesday | Luhukay gives injury updates on Gary Hooper and Sam Hutchinson
After a desperate season on the injury front, Sheffield Wednesday are beginning to finally get some good news.
As reported in The Star earlier this week, Tom Lees and Barry Bannan are back out running and Owls boss Jos Luhukay believes they are just a couple of weeks away from joining the rest of the squad and potentially making a return to the matchday line-up.
Luhukay also revealed in his pre-match conference ahead of Friday night's FA Cup meeting with Reading, that defender Joost van Aken was coming close to a comeback.
The manager has no new concerns for the fourth round tie with the Royals, with Glenn Loovens also returning following his two-match suspension.
"There are no players injured in the last few games and we are happy with that, of course," he said. "We had a lot of injured players before. The players who were injured are working very hard to come back. This week we had positive situations with Barry Bannan. He is working every day, not just with the physio but also on the field and this is very positive.
"Also Tom Lees, he is also with Barry training on the field. Those two players maybe in the next days and weeks can come back to the team training. With the rest of the (injured players) we have to have patience."
Gary Hooper is not yet close to coming back into the fold - he has been missing since the Boxing Day win over Nottingham Forest - however Joost van Aken, who suffered a hamstring strain in the same game should be next up, after Bannan and Lees, to become available for selection.
"Gary, we will have to wait," added Luhukay. "With Barry and Tom Lees we have positives for the next days and weeks. maybe after that the first players to come back is Joost van Aken. he is also in a good way so those are the three players we can get back from injury in the next two weeks."
Meanwhile, Sam Hutchinson is recovering from an operation, which Luhukay says is going well but he, too, is weeks away from joining his team mates in training.
"Sam is in a programme and is where he needs to be but he has a couple of weeks to go before he can come back to training," added Luhukay. "We must have patience for the next steps he has to take."