Chris Basham's Sheffield United influence ahead of Fulham reunion as John Egan takes big fitness step

Chris Basham injury update as Fulham clash brings back memories of Sheffield United horror injury
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All eyes are on a much-needed three points when Sheffield United host Fulham at Bramall Lane this weekend on their return to Premier League action but for Chris Basham it is a fixture that will carry some extra poignancy. The Blades legend was badly injured in the return fixture at Craven Cottage earlier in the season, with extensive damage to his leg and ankle leaving his future in doubt.

The horror incident overshadowed defeat for United in the capital and also robbed United of another of their defensive stalwarts, a week after losing John Egan for the season after he damaged an Achilles at West Ham. The Republic of Ireland defender has returned to light training with United but Wilder is still urging caution over any expectation that he will play again this season while for Basham, the immediate focus is on getting back to day-to-day normality rather than any return to training.

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"He's okay," said boss Chris Wilder on Basham ahead of this weekend's game. "He's in good spirits as he always is. It takes a lot to get him down so while he's been around the place he's been bright and bubbly. It's a long road for him to getting back to doing everyday things with his family and that's the first obstacle he needs to overcome.

"There's not been a lot of talk about getting him back on the training ground and resuming his career as an excellent footballer. If Bash is about, he'll have a feeling regarding this fixture and I suppose he always will do. From our point of view to see him around the place is really good.

"John Egan has started out on the grass today, doing early early rehabilitation. We can't get too excited about John coming back before the end of the season because I don't think he will do. In a way it's positive that they're about the place but it also shows what a blow it was to lose those players in terms of character and ability, in basically a similar period.

"I hear all around me how big clubs are having injuries but you look and we'll have between eight and 10 out for the weekend. And it 100 per cent hurts us more than it does anyone else."

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