Kieran Lee and Matt Penney look set to miss Sheffield Wednesday’s play-off push
Sheffield Wednesday have ruled out the prospect of Kieran Lee and Matt Penney featuring in their late Championship play-off charge.
The midfield pair are training again with the first-team squad following lengthy injury lay-offs.
But Lee, an integral member of the Owls side that achieved back-to-back play-off finishes under former boss Carlos Carvalhal, has not played at senior level in over 15 months while left-sided player Penney has not figured since December after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Steve Bruce, the Wednesday chief, told The Star: "Kieran has trained a little bit.
"I can't see Kieran Lee or Matt Penney being available for us this season.
"I think I have got to dismiss that as there are only five weeks left."
It remains to be seen whether Lee will play for the Hillsborough club again. The box-to-box midfielder, who turns 31 in June, is due to become a free agent in the summer when his Owls contract expires.
Penney, meanwhile, burst on to the scene under Jos Luhukay at the beginning of this campaign and is contracted to the club until the summer of 2020.
Wednesday's mounting injury problems has left Bruce deeply frustrated since he succeeded Luhukay in the managerial hotseat two months ago. He has promised to conduct a root and branch review of their troubles in that department as he aims to put his own stamp on the club.
Bruce hopes striker Steven Fletcher will be available for selection when the Owls return to action at home to play-off rivals Aston Villa on Saturday. Fletcher and Lucas Joao were left out of the travelling party as the Owls claimed a goalless draw at Stoke City last weekend.
With Fletcher and Joao ruled out, Bruce deployed Fernando Forestieri and Gary Hooper in attack at the bet365 Stadium.
Bruce said: "With the loss of Fletcher, we are having to play people who are not quite ready and that is always a gamble and a problem as they have been out so long.”