Sheffield United: Boss provides an update on multi-million pound signing Sander Berge

Sander Berge could return to action before the next international break, Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic has revealed, after allaying fears the midfielder has suffered a recurrence of the hamstring injury which forced him to miss much of last season

Sunday, 26th September 2021, 5:00 pm

Berge sat out his team’s 1-0 win over Derby County, as he continues to receive treatment for the injury he sustained before their visit to Hull City earlier this month.

Although United have not divulged the exact details of the Norway international’s complaint, Jokanovic told journalists following the meeting with Wayne Rooney’s side there is a possibility it could be resolved before Tuesday’s game at Middlesbrough. If not, the Serb is hopeful Berge will be declared available for selection ahead of Saturday’s trip to AFC Bournemouth although he did concede the player’s previous fitness issues means medical staff are taking a cautious approach towards his rehabilitation.

“Sander could be available for some of the next two games,” Jokanovic said, when asked for the update on the £22m signing’s progress. “I don’t believe it is something that has happened before.”

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The second most expensive purchase in United’s history, Jokanovic has committed himself to getting the best out of Berge since being appointed soon after the club’s relegation from the Premier League. Despite struggling with the more physical aspects of the English game, Berge is an accomplished technician which, with the right protection, Jokanovic is convinced can see him become a key figure for United as they attempt to plot a course back to the top-flight.

However, results in his absence mean Jokanovic has no need to take risks with the 23-year-old, who was ruled-out for five months after badly damaging a hamstring in December.

“His injury history is not so short,” Jokanovic said. “So we must take care with him and wait for the guarantees that he is in a safe situation. If we need to force him and take a risk, I don’t believe this is the right moment to do that. There is no need to put him or ourselves in this situation as it is not necessary at all.”

Kingston upon Hull, England, 18th September 2021. Sander Berge of Sheffield Utd in warm during the Sky Bet Championship match at the KCOM Stadium, Kingston upon Hull. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Sheffield, England, 25th September 2021. Slavisa Jokanovic manager of Sheffield Utd shouts instructions during the Sky Bet Championship match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis / Sportimage