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GARY Madine has been in hot water with Sheffield Wednesday for going absent without leave.

The striker was away from the training ground for two days earlier this week though he was expected to report to Middlewood, The Star understands.

He cannot play because of a broken toe but injured players do some fitness work as part of their rehabilitation.

Manager Gary Megson admitted: “We had an issue for 48 hours; it’s been dealt with and we move on.”

The Owls boss refused to comment further.

Madine may have been fined by the club and it is another twist in a headline-making season for the 21-year-old centre-forward.

He hit his best form since he moved to Hillsborough last January for £400,000, scoring 11 goals to become top scorer in the Football League and winner of their Young Player of the Month award.

His temperament came under the spotlight after his angry reaction towards a referee at Hartlepool landed him with a booking for dissent and a standard fine for this offence under the club’s disciplinary code.

He was sent off at Car-

lisle controversially and his behaviour towards the referee after the red card brought an FA charge of misconduct which he admitted and resulted in a one-match ban and £500 fine from the game’s ruling body.

Megson had some sympathy, feeling that he was harshly sent off, but said the striker’s reaction towards the ref was not the best.

Madine said just before the Carlisle match that maybe he was not the

best professional off the pitch but was working on that and had changed since he got into trouble during his Brunton Park career by mixing with the wrong crowd.

Megson has also said in the past that Madine is young and young people make mistakes, but the manager is likely to have taken a dim view of the latest episode and he insists on players sticking to certain standards of conduct.

The Owls manager said early this week while confirming that the striker would be out for six weeks: “This is going to be a big test for Gary Madine. It’s not a holiday. He needs to be very professional in undergoing his rehabilitation.”

Madine’s absence from the side is a blow, but it looks set to mean a starting role for Ryan Lowe.

n Owls: P42