Sheffield United face anxious wait to assess other international stars after Enda Stevens's injury - but could be boosted by Chris Basham return
Sheffield United will assess the rest of their players returning from international duty later this week after Enda Stevens withdrew from the Republic of Ireland squad through injury, but hope to have influential defender Chris Basham available to face Yorkshire rivals Leeds United at Elland Road this weekend.
Stevens pulled out of the Irish party that travelled to Hungary for a friendly against Qatar, and will be looked at by United’s medical staff at Shirecliffe.
With United already having a number of key players in the Bramall Lane treatment room, temporary boss Paul Heckingbottom will be praying that the rest of United’s international contingent return return to South Yorkshire later this week with no side-effects.
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“It’s always considered a real good training time, international breaks, in terms of working with your players,” Heckingbottom said before Stevens, Ethan Ampadu, Oli McBurnie, John Fleck, Rhian Brewster, Aaron Ramsdale and Sander Berge joined up with their respective national squads.
"But a lot of your 11 are always away. And we’re in that position here.”
United could be boosted by the return of defender Basham, who missed the FA Cup defeat to Chelsea last time out, but skipper Billy Sharp is expected to miss out against his former club.
“It was a tough one before Chelsea with preparation,” Heckingbottom.
“Sharpy picked up his injury and will be out for a few weeks and we had to pull Bash out on the eve of the game. They’re big misses and big characters, but credit to the players who stepped up.
“Both are muscle injuries. Billy is hip flexor and Chris got a kick in training that just didn’t settle down. He was in too much pain to have played at Chelsea, which is a struggle because he’s been a big part of this team for a long time now.”
Ramsdale and Brewster’s chances of featuring in this summer’s U21 Euros are hanging by a thread after England’s limp 2-0 defeat to Portugal on Sunday.