"Roll with it" - Sheffield United taking steps to determine whether John Egan is available to face Fulham amid Covid-19 confusion

Chris Wilder has declined to confirm or deny whether John Egan will be ruled out of this weekend's game with Fulham after admitting that Sheffield United are working with the authorities to clarify the defender's situation.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 10:54 am

David McGoldrick and Oli Burke returned early from duty with the Republic of Ireland and Scotland respectively, while John Fleck also came back to Sheffield early after being substituted in his country's 1-0 win over Slovakia.

The likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Sander Berge and Oli McBurnie also represented their countries over the break, while Ethan Ampadu and Enda Stevens won their latest caps for Wales and Ireland.

But Egan is expected to miss out against Fulham if he is confirmed as a 'close contact' of an Irish teammate who tested positive for Covid-19 a week ago.

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If that is the case, then Egan is likely to have to self-isolate for a period - which would rule him out of the clash with Scott Parker's Fulham.

And Wilder, speaking at his pre-match press conference this morning ahead of Sunday's game, admitted: "We've got a couple of injury issues and a potential issue with one of our players.

"I can't confirm or deny if he'll be available for the weekend. We're still working away with the authorities.

"We've just got to roll with it. I'm a huge backer of players going away on international duty, it makes them better in my opinion.

Sheffield United defender John Egan missed the Republic of Ireland's Nations League clash with Wales on Sunday after a positive Covid-19 test within Stephen Kenny's squad. (Photo by Neil Hall - Pool/Getty Images)

"I know how proud they are to go away, there isn't one of our players that doesn't want to go and represent their country. Playing in different systems against different players can only make them better, from a football point of view.

"The injuries point of view is the obvious down-side, the majority were back on Thursday so it's not a great deal of time for us to prepare for a big game for us as a football club."

Egan was one of four players stood down from Ireland's Nations League draw with Wales after being identified as contacts of the player who tested positive.

The Star understands that all five sat close together on the flight home from Slovakia.