Joost van Aken continues Sheffield Wednesday comeback in Under-23

Joost van Aken is on the comeback trail for Sheffield Wednesday.
Joost van Aken is on the comeback trail for Sheffield Wednesday.

Joost van Aken is edging closer to a first-team return after playing in Sheffield Wednesday's Under-23s defeat at Bolton Wanderers.

The centre-back, fit-again following an ankle problem, featured in the Owls' second-string side 2-1 defeat at the Country Ground in the Professional Development League 2.

Jack Stobbs scored a late consolation effort for Wednesday after Luca Navarro scored twice to put Bolton in command.

It was van Aken's second appearance at development squad level in a week as he continues to build up his match sharpness. Friday's trip to local rivals Sheffield United is likely to come too soon for the 24-year-old.

Van Aken, a £4m buy from Heerenveen, has played just twice this term. His only Championship start came in Wednesday's 3-2 loss at Wigan Athletic on the opening day.

Van Aken also featured in Wednesday's first round Carabao Cup tie at Sunderland back in August but he was forced off just after the hour mark after suffering an ankle knock.

Injuries have hampered van Aken throughout his time in England, restricting him to only 16 Wednesday starts.

As for his Owls teammate Sam Winnall, the striker remains a number of weeks away from returning to action. He is currently receiving treatment for a hamstring injury.

Luhukay said: “I think it (the international break) will be too short for him to come back but you never know how he will progress. We will see how he is in two to three weeks.

“We must give him time and patience to come back 100 per cent.”