Sheffield United midfielder Ben Osborn returns to training ground after freak accident

Ben Osborn has reported back for duty at Sheffield United’s training complex, a fortnight after being injured during a freak accident.
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Although the midfielder won’t feature during either of the club’s Easter games, beginning with Friday’s game against Wigan Athletic, manager Paul Heckingbottom described himself as being “really pleased” with the progress Osborn is making.

“Ben will recover when he recovers,” Heckingbottom said, confirming the 28-year-old will be given as long as he needs to be passed fit. “We have had to take precautions for his health but I’ve just been chatting with him out there and it’s great to have him back in. It’s a case of him ticking all the boxes he needs to tick, building up in terms of his exercise and so on. He’s on the mend, though, and that’s great. I’m really pleased.”

Ben Osborn is back at Sheffield United's training complex: Victoria Jones/PA Wire.Ben Osborn is back at Sheffield United's training complex: Victoria Jones/PA Wire.
Ben Osborn is back at Sheffield United's training complex: Victoria Jones/PA Wire.
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Heckingbottom delivered his prognosis on Osborn at the Randox Health Academy, where he was speaking following United’s penultimate training session ahead of the meeting with a Wigan side who travel to South Yorkshire at the foot of the Championship. United are second and six points clear of third-placed Middlesbrough following their victory over Norwich City last weekend.

Although Heckingbottom admitted his squad had collected “the usual” bumps and bruises during their outing at Carrow Road, he confirmed all of those receiving treatment have continued to train as normal.

“Everyone is good and everyone has been involved,” Heckingbottom said. “We’ve got a few little issues, as you always expect - Sander (Berge), Robbo (Jack Robinson), Eges (John Egan) and Macca (James McAtee) has a little bit of tightness. But everyone is doing good.”

John Egan in action for Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / SportimageJohn Egan in action for Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
John Egan in action for Sheffield United: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

After meeting Shaun Maloney’s team, United then travel to runaway leaders Burnley on Monday. With an FA Cup semi-final also featuring on their April agenda, Heckingbottom is keen to have as many options at his disposal as possible over the coming month. Centre-forward Daniel Jebbison, who was injured while on international duty with England under-20’s, is closing in on a return to action. Like Osborn, whose contract is scheduled to expire at the end of the campaign, Heckingbottom refused to predict exactly when that will be though.

"Jebbo is doing alright,” Heckingbottom said. “It was just a minor one.”