Sheffield United duo are prepared to push themselves through the pain barrier against Chelsea
John Lundstram and John Fleck are ready to push themselves through the pain barrier and face Chelsea this weekend in an effort to help enhance Sheffield United’s prospects of qualifying for Europe.
Chris Wilder made the admission after revealing Lundstram had volunteered to sit on the bench when Wolverhampton Wanderers visited Bramall Lane last night, despite still undergoing treatment for a shoulder injury which had threatened to end his season prematurely.
Although the Liverpudlian did not feature during the victory over Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, which lifted United to seventh in the Premier League table, Wilder was impressed by his commitment.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Frank Lampard’s side, Wilder confirmed Fleck has made similar overtures to coaching staff at the Steelphalt Academy this week. The Scotland international has missed United’s last three outings, with Wilder unable to name a full complement of substitutes thanks to a series of fitness issues elsewhere in his squad.
“John wasn’t right but, yet again, we asked a few to put their hands up and he did,” Wilder said, referring to Lundstram. “He’s still in pain but he wanted to be involved the other night.
“We asked him, we took medical advice and we strapped him up.
“We had a few players out there who weren’t really right. But John wanted to be involved if he could.”
Wilder predicted both Lundstram and Fleck could be out “for around a couple of weeks” following United’s meeting with Tottenham Hotspur eight days ago. But, as his team prepares to lock horns with third-placed Chelsea, it appears both are now closing in on a return to action.
Like Lundstram’s fellow midfielder Fleck, centre-forward David McGoldrick will be assessed later this afternoon after watching United’s last outing from the stands because of a foot complaint.
“We’ll leave McGodrick and Fleck, right until the end,” Wilder said. “We’ll give them the best possible chance of being involved and we’ll make sensible decisions, in conjunction with the medical department and the player.”
Chelsea also have selection issues in midfield, with N’Golo Kante and Billy Gilmour both set to miss the trip to South Yorkshire.