Sheffield United confirm why on-loan Manchester City midfielder was withdrawn at Millwall

Tommy Doyle was substituted during the second-half of Sheffield United’s defeat at Millwall as a precautionary measure, Paul Heckinbottom confirmed, quashing fears the midfielder had suffered a recurrence of the calf injury which has plagued him this season.
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After scoring the first of his team’s two goals, which were cancelled-out by Tom Bradshaw’s hat-trick, Doyle completed only 10 minutes of the second period before being replaced by Ben Osborn.

On loan from Manchester City, the 21-year-old had missed four games en route to the Den as he underwent treatment on the muscle problem which was first diagnosed soon after his arrival in South Yorkshire last summer.

Ben Osborn of Sheffield United replaces Tommy Doyle at Millwall: Paul Terry / SportimageBen Osborn of Sheffield United replaces Tommy Doyle at Millwall: Paul Terry / Sportimage
Ben Osborn of Sheffield United replaces Tommy Doyle at Millwall: Paul Terry / Sportimage
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But Heckingbottom revealed Doyle’s exit had been pre-planned, and that he would resume training with the rest of the visitors’ squad on Monday.

“Tommy wasn’t injured,” the United manager told The Star. “He’s okay. It’s just that he’s been out for a bit and you’ve got to be careful in those situations. He’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with him.”

Still second in the table but now in danger of being dragged back into the play-off mix. United fell behind when Bradshaw netted early on before Doyle converted a long-range free-kick. After the former Barnsley man had pounced again, James McAtee, also on loan from City, appeared to have secured them a point with a delightful finish. But Bradshaw ensured United’s improved second-half display went unrewarded when he fired home past Wes Foderingham with only two minutes of normal time remaining.

“It good to have Tommy back,” said Heckingbottom. “The free-kick, he can do that all day long but, like everyone, he had to get better after that first-half.”