Sheffield United: Bramall Lane's casualty list - and when those on it are likely to return

Sheffield United welcomed Oli McBurnie, Enda Stevens and John Fleck back from injury when they faced Barnsley on Saturday, their last match before the international break.

Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 11:45 am

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But as his team boosted its hopes of qualifying for the Championship play-offs by beating Poya Asbaghi’s side, the fitness crisis which has caused manager Paul Heckingbottom such a headache of late showed no signs of abating - with another key player forced to enter the treatment room.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s been causing me to lose sleep,” Heckingbottom admitted recently, after using graduates of the club’s development programme to plug the gaps within his squad. “This (gap in the fixtures) is going to be so important for us, because we need people back for the run in.”

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The Star’s James Shield analyses United’s casualty list and estimates with only eight games of the regular season remaining, when those on it are likely to return to action.

Billy Sharp (Striker): Limped-out of last weekend’s game after feeling discomfort in a hamstring. Scheduled to undergo a scan, which should reveal the extent of the damage, shortly. United are anxiously awaiting the result of that. Return date - Not known.

Charlie Goode (Defender): Diagnosed with a cartilage issue just before returning from a three match ban. Has headed back to his parent club Brentford for treatment, which could point to a lengthy absence. Return date - Not known.

George Baldock (Defender): Was troubled by a knee problem before finally succumbing during United’s recent visit to Millwall. Wanted to face Barnsley but that idea was vetoed by coaching staff. Return date - Stoke City.

Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp is undergoing treatment for a hamstring issue sustained against Barnsley: Alistair Langham / Sportimage

Chris Basham (Defender): Is receiving treatment for a medial ligament injury. United have refuted suggestions his season is in danger but indicated he could be back within a fortnight a fortnight ago. Return date - Not known.

David McGoldrick (Striker): Appears to have undergone surgery to solve a thigh complaint. The striker’s contract expires this summer, with United yet to confirm if they plan to trigger a 12 month extension clause. Return date - Next season.

Rhian Brewster (Striker): United’s record signing, the former Liverpool striker had only just returned to action following a hamstring problem when he suffered another, although Heckingbottom insists the two are not related. Return date - Next season.

Jayden Bogle (Defender): Tried to play through a knee issue. But, like Baldock, was unable to do so before being advised an operation was the only way of solving the problem once and for all. Is now recovering from surgery. Return date - Next season.

Sheffield United defender Chris Basham with Paul Heckingbottom: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Ben Davies (Defender): Has struggled with a number of issues, including Covid-19, since arriving on loan from Liverpool. Coaching staff told journalists recently that he is now receiving treatment for a calf muscle injury. Return date - Not known.

Jack O’Connell (Defender): One of United’s most influential players before breaking down with a knee problem, the centre-half has not featured since the beginning of last season and is clearly battling to save his career. Certainly at this level. Return date - Not known.

George Baldock could return to action when Sheffield United visit Stoke City next month: Paul Terry / Sportimage