Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has revealed that Neill Collins has returned to training - but refused to offer any guarantees that he would be recalled to the first-team after a six-month absence.
Collins’ exile has been put down to a long-standing injury problem, but Clough revealed yesterday that the Scottish defender had returned to training last weekend and he may make a return in United’s U21 game next Monday, at Millwall.
“Neill has returned to training so he’ll have 4-5 training sessions this week, with a view to playing for the U21s next week,” Clough said.
“We have no objection to putting him in the team if we think he is worthy of a place, and if he is looking better than before he was injured.
“We have to be careful because when he played before, we let in five goals at Swindon and three at Chesterfield, and we haven’t conceded three goals since then.
“We haven’t seen much of him because he’s been out for three months and training with the kids, so it’s a big ask for him to come into the first team, with 12 games of the season to go, when he’s missed to much football.”
One centre-half who does have a future at Bramall Lane is Harrison McGahey, who is expected to be recalled shortly from his loan spell at Tranmere Rovers.
With Terry Kennedy expected to miss the next month through injury, McGahey will be recalled as cover for Chris Basham and Jay McEveley.
“Ideally, we’d like to have left him out on loan to aid his development,” Clough added.
“But our needs come first and once his first 28 days is up, we will probably recall him.”
United travel to Scunthorpe this weekend without a win in three games and Clough refuses to underestimate the threat they pose.
“They will be dangerous,” he said. “With the likes of Paddy Madden and Gary McSheffrey, they’ll cause us problems.”