Sheffield United still waiting to discover when striker will return

Mystery still surrounds when Lys Mousset will return to action, although the Sheffield United centre-forward will definitely miss his team’s visit to Aston Villa as he recovers from foot surgery.

Sunday, 20th September 2020, 4:50 pm

Mousset underwent a minor procedure to repair the ligament he damaged in a toe during a pre-season friendly against Preston North End earlier this month, with manager Chris Wilder describing the injury as “unfortunate” and “unusual”.

Although United would ordinarily expect him to recover relatively quickly, the situation has been complicated by the fact Mousset was clearly out of shape when Wilder’s squad reported back for training last month. With the former AFC Bournemouth striker also missing the end of last term after returning to France to be with his partner and their newborn baby, Wilder’s refusal to set a comeback date almost certainly stems from a fear Mousset’s conditioning will deteriorate still as he recuperates.

Confirming United began their preparations for tomorrow visit to Villa Park with an otherwise full strength squad, Wilder said: “There’s no update on Lys. We don’t know yet. He’s the only one out though.”

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Despite being one of the most naturally gifted players at United’s disposal, fitness issues have plagued Mousset’s time in South Yorkshire, with Wilder acknowledging he required work to get “match sharp” after arriving from The Vitality Stadium last summer.

Despite scoring five times in 10 outings over the autumn period, as United went on to finish ninth in the table, Mousset’s influence waned either side of ‘Project Restart’ after Wilder revealed he had found it difficult in England during lockdown.

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Lys Mousset of Sheffield United tackled by Patrick Bauer of Preston: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Holt, Football Editor