Sheffield United's coaching staff are having to rein-in Paul Coutts, manager Chris Wilder admitted last night, revealing the midfielder is "straining at the leash" as he edges closer to a first team return.
Coutts has entered the final stages of his rehabilitation after breaking a leg during November's Championship fixture against Burton Albion.
Although Wilder's previous prediction that the Scot would be eased back into action before Saturday's game against Swansea City proved wide of the mark, he told The Star: "The physio department are delighted with where Paul is at in his recovery and with the progression he's made.
"We're having to pull him back a little bit at times because he's coming on so well and is desperate to get back out there.
"But he's too good to mess about with and, when he does come back, we want to make sure he's totally right."
"We're dropping Couttsy into training and then pulling him back out at the moment," Wilder added. "He's doing two days, then sitting it out and coming back in a doing three. That where we are at right now."
Coutts' importance to United was underlined last season when, having climbed to the top of the table following their victory over Albion at the Pirelli Stadium, they won only two of their next 10 outings.
Wilder, whose side eventually finished 10th, said: "He'll be like a new signing for us. I'm waiting, like every single one of our 30,000 or so who turn up to watch us every other week. I'll be delighted when he's back with us."