George Baldock has lifted the lid on his “horrible” injury-hit start to life at Sheffield United after making his delayed debut in Tuesday’s cup loss to Leicester City.
The 24-year-old became United’s fourth signing since winning the League One title, when he signed a three-year deal in June.
But a frustrating foot complaint hampered his pre-season progress and the former MK Dons man had to wait until Tuesday’s Carabao Cup clash with the Premier League site, who triumphed 4-1, to make his competitive debut for United.
“It has been horrible, to be fair,” Baldock said of his spell on the sidelines.
“When I first did it, I carried on training and didn’t think much of it. But I woke up the next day and was struggling, to say the least. I tried to strap it up and have painkillers.
“But the physio could see I wasn’t even walking right from the bus to the training ground. Even then, we thought it would be two to three weeks, but we scanned it and it was a small fracture in my foot, which meant I was out for longer.
“It was disappointing, but I had to get my head around it quick. The physio and medical department have been different class, to be fair, and although I am disappointed by the result, to make my debut was pleasing.”
United boss Chris Wilder, meanwhile, is hopeful of “one or two” additions to his squad before Saturday’s Championship clash at home to Derby County.
The Blades boss remains in the hunt for Southend’s Ryan Leonard, Darragh Lenihan of Blackburn Rovers and Conor Coady, the former Blade now at Wolves.
And after losing Leon Clarke to suspension after his red card against Barnsley last weekend, Wilder could also explore the possibility of bringing another striker to Bramall Lane.
“Yes, we’re light at the top of the pitch after Leon’s red card,” Wilder admitted.
“Games of football are ultimately won in both boxes, so we’re looking for that bit of quality. I believe we’ll get one or two in the building before Derby, and I’m pushing for a couple more.
“The owners know that and I’ve said it all along. We’re a decent club and have a decent team but I want us to be better, whether that’s improving David Brooks and John Fleck and Jack O’Connell or bringing in players to complement and challenge the players we already have here.
“That, I think, will determine how well we go this season.”
Wilder confirmed two of his players had picked up knocks against Leicester, but refused to reveal their identities. Jake Wright, Ched Evans and Baldock were all withdrawn in the defeat - which ended United’s run of nine successive home wins.