Sheffield United: Enda Stevens 'let down' by mistake which forced him to miss season kick-off
Enda Stevens has expressed his frustration at missing the start of the new Championship season, revealing he could have been available for selection months ago had the injury which forced him to sit out Sheffield United’s opening 10 games not been misdiagnosed.
Stevens told The Star he “felt a bit let down” when, after initially being told he was suffering from a pelvic problem, it was eventually discovered he had a double hernia instead.
The mistake, which was not made by United’s in-house medical department, meant the Republic of Ireland international spent weeks being treated for an issue which did not exist.
Stevens, who made his first appearance since the end of last term when Southampton visited Bramall Lane in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, said: “I probably only became aware of it (the hernias) when I first had the operation. I was let down a bit where I was misdiagnosed. I was doing rehab for something I didn’t have.
“The recovery period for a hernia was only two to six weeks. We didn’t have any answers as to why, no matter what I did, the pain was still just there. There was consistent pain. We went to see them and they didn’t find the hernia. What I was doing, it didn’t get rid of the pain.”
The actual source of Stevens’ discomfort was only discovered when, with the support of United’s own experts, he sought a second opinion.
“You just feel a bit let down because I went to them to get answers and it was a really difficult process,” he continued. “It just needed that second opinion and now everything is sorted. But it took far longer than was necessary.”
Stevens could feature again tomorrow afternoon, when Derby County visit South Yorkshire for a contest manager Slavisa Jokanovic hopes could see United stretch their unbeaten run in the Championship to five matches. The Serb, who took charge in July, has warned his players to expect a tough challenge; predicting the financial issues engulfing their latest opponents could have a galvanising effect.
United set up their third round tie against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side by beating County in the previous round and Jokanovic said: “I remember their game here very well. It will be a different game but some of the things they did then, they will try to do again. We have experience of playing against them. It won’t be easy for them or for us.”
Former United players Phil Jagielka, Richard Stearman and Ravel Morrison could all feature for County, who were placed into administration earlier this week. Wayne Rooney’s employers are bottom of the table - on minus two points - as a result and could face a further deduction when the English Football League concludes its investigation into a separate accounting matter at Pride Park.
“It must be horrible,” Stevens said. “It is disappointing to see a club like Derby go through this. The players won’t give in. The manager won’t allow that. There’s a core of lads there who we know well.”