Sheffield United: Duo return to full-time training ahead of West Bromwich Albion visit

Ciaran Clark and Enda Stevens have returned to full-time training ahead of Sheffield United’s visit to West Bromwich Albion.
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But speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to The Hawthorns, which pits 23rd versus fifth in the Championship table, Paul Heckingbottom is remaining coy on whether either will feature against opponents set to contest their first match under new head coach Carlos Corberan.

Clark, on loan from Newcastle, last played for United when they were beaten in the Carabao Cup by Corberan’s employers two months ago while Stevens has featured only once so far this term - when Heckingbottom’s side travelled to Watford during the opening round of games.

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“Enda and Ciaran are training this week, they’ve done a lot of rehab work and it's great to have them back,” the United manager said. “They’re at different stages, in terms of needing game time. But it’s great to see them back out there. They started at the beginning of the week, but didn’t get pushed through all of it. But now they’re doing it all, they’ve joined back in properly. It’s great to have them involved again and back out there with the lads.”

United, six points behind leaders Burnley following last weekend’s draw with Norwich City, have been badly affected by fitness issues this term. Speaking at his latest pre-match media conference, Heckingbottom confirmed Rhys Norrington-Davies is certain to miss Wales’s trip to the World Cup because of a serious hamstring problem. Sander Berge, Max Lowe, Jayden Bogle and Daniel Jebbison are also confined to the treatment room. Jebbison had been expected to return to action shortly but is now facing up to a longer absence despite being told he does not require surgery to repair a damaged ligament.

“Jebbo is not going to go down the route of having an operation,” said Heckingbottom. “He planted his foot to shoot and he heard and felt something. It’s a ligament.”

Ciaran Clark is poised for a return to action with Sheffield United: Lexy Ilsley / SportimageCiaran Clark is poised for a return to action with Sheffield United: Lexy Ilsley / Sportimage
Ciaran Clark is poised for a return to action with Sheffield United: Lexy Ilsley / Sportimage

“Rhys is going to have a second opinion, seeing as many people as possible,” added Heckingbottom. “He’s getting his head around it and which way he wants to go. Months rather than weeks? Yes, months.”