Sheffield United: Fresh Billy Sharp blow for Blades as skipper's injury worse than thought

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Billy Sharp, the Sheffield United skipper, faces a longer spell on the sidelines than was initially feared after suffering damage to ankle ligaments at Middlesbrough recently.

Sharp, who was making his first start since suffering hamstring and calf injuries at the back end of last season, was replaced at half-time against Boro after an innocuous challenge saw him roll his ankle.

Initial swelling to the area delayed a scan and when it was eventually undertaken, both Sharp and his manager Paul Heckingbottom were surprised at the damage that it revealed.

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“We’re going to get the opinion from the specialist, and maybe more than one,” Heckingbottom said ahead of tomorrow’s clash against Blackburn Rovers at Bramall Lane.

“He’s had the scan and there’s damage to ligaments, more than one and inside and out. So it’s just finding out the best way to proceed.

“I was surprised [at the damage] and he was surprised. It’s about getting him back fit now so he’s out of my thinking until I get told otherwise.

“It’s not ideal but we have to manage it. It was a real weird one, he rocked his ankle in a challenge with Dael Fry I think it was and the ball wasn’t near them.

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Billy Sharp of Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / SportimageBilly Sharp of Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Billy Sharp of Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Blades star buzzing to go again after injury nightmare ahead of season opener

“We’ve had a few innocuous ones that have ended up being big injuries.”

Despite acknowledging he has no fresh fitness issues from the midweek clash with Sunderland at Bramall Lane, Heckingbottom admitted he has some concerns over fatigue as United face their third game in the space of six days against Jon Dahl Tomasson’s early league leaders.

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