Sheffield United: Anxious wait on injured defender ahead of showdown with Middlesbrough
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The wing-back missed yesterday’s draw with Nottingham Forest due to a persistent knee complaint, which medical staff warned could get worse if he faced Steve Cooper’s side.
The Star revealed before Forest’s visit to South Yorkshire that Baldock had been receiving treatment to try and alleviate the problem since United’s defeat at Millwall.
Paul Heckingbottom had initially been hopeful the 28-year-old would be available for selection.
But speaking after Ryan Yates’ 95th minute equaliser denied his team an important win in the race for Championship play-off qualification, the United manager said: “We were told, if he’d taken part, then it might have made things worse. It’s something George has been working on with the people here and we’ve been able to get him through the games.
“We always knew, though, that he was going to need to rest it. That he was going to need to miss maybe one game."
Although Ben Osborn’s return to fitness has alleviated some of the pressure on United’s injury hit squad - a midfielder by trade, he excelled in a more defensive role during an impressive second-half cameo against Forest - Heckingbottom will be desperate for Baldock to recover ahead of the game against a Middlesbrough team now led by his predecessor Chris Wilder. Like United, Wilder’s men are also challenging for a place in the post-season knockout tournament.
“We’ll see,” said Heckingbottom, who is set to be without a number of key performers including Chris Basham, Jayden Bogle and the suspended Charlie Goode. “We’ll get on with it.”