Sheffield United: Manager provides an update on Ben Davies' fitness after the defender was substituted at Hull City
Ben Davies has not suffered a recurrence of the injury which forced him to miss Sheffield United’s first two matches following the international break Slavisa Jokanovic confirmed, explaining the defender was withdrawn during the closing stages of his team’s victory over Hull City as a precautionary measure.
Davies completed 85 minutes of the game at the MKM Stadium, but appeared to hobble off the pitch after being replaced by fellow centre-half Chris Basham.
Having become an important member of their rearguard since arriving on loan from Liverpool last month, losing Davies for another series of games would deal a blow to United’s hopes of building upon the progress they have made in recent weeks after taking four points from a possible six en route to East Yorkshire.
But Jokanovic allayed fears the 26-year-old could be in danger of sitting-out Saturday’s Championship fixture against Derby County, telling The Star: “Behind Ben, there is a list of demands that we want him to go through without even competing. He has just come back (from injury) and we want to try and find the best way for him to get through those.
“He could have finished (the game) but we didn’t want to take that risk with him. There was no need, because we also have someone who is very good to bring onto the pitch.”
Despite providing reassurances about Davies’ fitness, Jokanovic is unlikely to include him in the team which faces Southampton in the third round of the Carabao Cup tomorrow. Youngster Kacper Lopata has impressed during United’s first and second round ties against Carlisle and County, while Jack Robinson could be recalled after being replaced by Davies in the starting eleven for the meeting with Grant McCann’s side.
“He (Davies) still needs time to get to the highest level with us,” said Jokanovic, after watching goals from Billy Sharp and John Egan (2) put City to the sword before Keane Lewis-Potter’s latre consolation for the hosts. “He is not quite there yet, which is normal because of what happened. But he is doing the work and he will get there very soon, I’m sure.”