Sheffield United star’s fitness row “blown out of proportion” says boss ahead of Tottenham Hotspur trip

Blades defender was suspended by his country after fitness row over international break

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Paul Heckingbottom has played down the furore surrounding Sheffield United defender Anel Ahmedhodzic’s injury, after he was reportedly suspended by his FA over a fitness row. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international did not travel with his international teammates over the recent international break after suffering a minor hamstring issue.

Officials at the Bosnian FA claim that Ahmedhodzic failed to report for assessment by their medical team, with the defender preferring to stay in the UK and get treatment on the issue. That approach appears to have worked, with the 24-year-old back in training with Heckingbottom’s side ahead of their trip to Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.

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And boss Heckingbottom described the row as “mountain out of a molehill,” adding: “He is training and fine. He was worried about his thigh and had some hamstring issue. It’s been a mountain out of a molehill. I’ve read a lot of stories so I’ll set the record straight. Anel did speak to the Bosnian FA, three people who all knew about it.

“From past experience when he has been away and injured, he has not been looked after as well as we would want and he would want. He knew he wasn’t fit to play so he wanted to get the best possible treatment to get back training as soon as possible.

“We have got him back on the grass today and he’s available. While we would not want to stop anyone from playing for their country, he has been really sensible and he has got himself fit. It’s crazy what’s been written about. It has been blown out of all proportion.”

George Baldock, John Egan and Will Osula all returned back from international duty with injuries and are doubts ahead of the trip to face Ange Postecoglou’s side. “Everyone doesn’t come back until today and we have picked up some injuries which isn’t great,” Heckingbottom said.

“George picked up an injury, Will picked up an injury, Egs has picked up an injury. Everyone who has been away has come back injured apart from Davo (Adam Davies).”