The key men Sheffield United could welcome back for QPR as injury crisis eases again

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Sheffield United could welcome back two more key men when they travel to Queens Park Rangers on Monday evening, in another sign their injury crisis is beginning to ease.

Paul Heckingbottom, the United manager, admitted after Thursday evening's victory at Blackpool that striker Oli McBurnie "maybe" has a chance of featuring at Loftus Road following a slight recurrence of his ankle injury, while midfielder Ben Osborn is also making progress in his own return from a hamstring issue.

Ismaila Coulibaly, the Malian midfielder still waiting to make his competitive Blades debut after returning from his loan spell at Beerschot in the summer, is back in training after knee surgery but John Fleck is not yet at that stage while Rhian Brewster and Rhys Norrington-Davies are recovering from surgery on their damaged hamstrings.

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Asked who he may be able to call upon in West London as he looks to ensure United's remarkable recent form continues, Heckingbottom - whose side have won eight of their last nine games and travel to London second in the Championship table - said: "Maybe Oli, Ozzy is progressing but we want to make sure we get it right, for him and for us.

"It's no coincidence that he came back into the team when we were short and went game, game, game, game. He reached big physical outputs but everyone did well, we caught it at the right time. So it's just a case of getting the load and the work into him and making sure that when he comes back, he'll sustain that.

"I feel for him because he was just making his way back into the team. And we've got more players coming back so it's going to be tough. So there's two. Obviously Rhian and Rhys, I see them every day and have a chat with them every day. They're further down the line.

Oli McBurnie and Ben Osborn in training with Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/SportimageOli McBurnie and Ben Osborn in training with Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Oli McBurnie and Ben Osborn in training with Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"Izzy's back on the grass, we want to keep him training regularly before we start exposing him to game time. And Flecky similar. He's not on the grass yet, it's step by step with him. But again another good player for us to have back."

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