Fernando Forestieri faces race against time to save Sheffield Wednesday career
Time is running out for Fernando Forestieri to save his Owls career.
The 30-year-old's present contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
Forestieri's campaign has been significantly disrupted by suspensions and injuries, restricting him to just 12 appearances in all competitions.
A knee problem kept Forestieri out of action for two months.
But the 30-year-old made his return to action as a second half substitute in Wednesday's goalless draw with Millwall at the start of February.
Forestieri's eye-catching contribution off the bench prompted manager Garry Monk to hand him a Championship start at Oakwell last weekend.
Forestieri, utilised on the left hand side of Monk's 4-2-3-1 formation, showed flashes of his ability on the ball in the 71 minutes he was on the pitch. He set up a great opportunity for new boy Alessio Da Cruz in the second half, whipping in a glorious cross that the Dutchman side-footed wide.
Forestieri will be hoping he has done enough to retain his place in the side ahead of Wednesday's vital clash with bottom club Luton Town.
"He has been out for a long period," said Monk, whose side have 15 league matches remaining. "It has been a stop start season.
"He was suspended when I came in here and then he picked up that injury for quite a long period.
"He is not going to be at his sharpest but the more minutes he gets on his pitch will help him."
Forestieri was part of a much-changed forward line, featuring new arrivals Da Cruz, Josh Windass and Connor Wickham. Windass capped his debut in style, scoring a well-taken 16th minute opener against struggling Barnsley.
Monk said: "We know the quality of the players that we have and hopefully we will see an improvement the more minutes they get.”
Windass played in the No 10 position off Wickham and Monk the pair worked well in tandem at times.
"There were some good things when we showed the right composure,” he said. “We had a few good counter attacking situations but we didn't show enough of that to get the supply to them.”