Pictured: Sander Berge returns to training with Norway as Sheffield United comeback "gets closer"
Sander Berge, the Sheffield United midfielder, has been photographed taking part in training with the Norwegian national team as he nears a return for the Blades.
Berge has not played since December, when he damaged a hamstring against Manchester United and was forced to go under the knife to correct the problem.
With United bottom of the table and destined for relegation from the Premier League, Blades fans are keen for their record signing to return to action before the end of the season – as opportunities to see him in a red and white shirt may be limited, with clubs such as Liverpool and Arsenal thought to be monitoring his situation.
Despite his injury absence, the midfielder was named in the Norway squad for this round of games and flew in from England yesterday to train with Ståle Solbakken’s men ahead of tomorrow night’s clash with Turkey.
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Berge is not expected to feature in that game, or when Norway face Montenegro next week, but it is at least a sign that his rehab is progressing.
Paul Heckingbottom, who replaced Chris Wilder in charge of United earlier this month, revealed recently that Berge is stepping up his rehabilitation away from United’s Shirecliffe base.
"He’s not fit so it’ll be a while until he’s back playing but he can keep rehabbing away from us,” Heckingbottom said.
"His programme doesn’t change and the sooner we can get him back, the better.
“People always say international breaks are great and you can get the players on the training ground, but we have a lot of them away. It’s a different situation.
"It’s great for them to go away, and the boys left behind we pick up and push them.
"It probably shows the split in the squad and that we have got some senior players who have been on a good journey together, and some younger players in and around the U21s who should go on and have good careers.”
Berge is expected to move on at the end of the season if it does end in relegation for the Blades. Prince Abdullah, the United owner, confirmed yesterday that some of the Blades’ squad have buy-out clauses in their contracts and although he did not expand on their identities, Berge recently signalled his desire to again play in the Champions League.