Sheffield United: Chris Wilder gives an update on fitness of Blackman and Baldock

Chris Basham of Sheffield Utd thanks Jamal Blackman. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Basham of Sheffield Utd thanks Jamal Blackman. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Jamal Blackman could be available for selection when Sheffield United return to Championship action at Burton Albion later this month.

But, speaking after last weekend’s game against Hull City, Chris Wilder revealed defender George Baldock, who also missed the victory over Leonid Slutsky’s side, could be forced to sit-out the visit to Staffordshire in 11 days time.

Blackman had started all of United’s league fixtures this season until damaging his back during the defeat by Queens Park Rangers. After returning to his parent club Chelsea for treatment, Wilder suggested the on-loan goalkeeper’s injury is not as serious as first feared despite refusing to provide an exact diagnosis.

“Jamal has got a chance for when we come back,” the United manager said. “It’s not certain because these things never are but there’s every possibility he could be ready for that one.”

Although Simon Moore’s presence means there are no guarantees Blackman will enjoy an immediate recall should be passed fit. United will be keen to see Baldock declare himself ready given that fellow wing-back Kieron Freeman is still recovering from a dislocated knee.

“Jamal, like I say, could be fine for that one,” Wilder, whose side are second in the table, said. “He could be back in the mix but George less so. We took him off (at QPR) the minute he said he felt his hamstring or calf go a bit tight because of the situation with Kieron as well.

“We’ll work hard with him and he’ll be working hard too during the break.”