Sam Winnall set for Sheffield Wednesday match time this week as he nears first team return

Steve Bruce, the Sheffield Wednesday manager, says striker Sam Winnall needs a few more matches with the under-23s’ side before he will be ready for first team action.

Friday, 22nd February 2019, 11:19 am
Updated Friday, 22nd February 2019, 11:22 am

Winnall has been sidelined with injury this season but is on the road to recovering full match fitness and featured for the full 90 minutes in the under-23s Steel City derby against Sheffield United on Tuesday night.

The 28-year-old, who turned down the option to leave Hillsborough on loan during the January transfer window in order to fight for his Wednesday place, is expected to remain with Neil Thompson’s side for more games this week.

Owls Sam Winnall. Pic Steve Ellis.

Speaking to the media ahead of tomorrow’s Championship match against Swansea City, Owls chief Bruce said: “I still think it is a bit early for Sam.

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“I watched him closely the other night. He is back on the pitch but after you have been out for the best part of 12 months you can’t just wipe it away.

“I think you need three, four, five six games in him at least. I know he has played a couple and that’ll stand him in good stead.

“He’ll get a couple next week and I would still think he’s a few weeks away yet.”

Winnall has come off the bench to feature four times for the senior side this season against West Brom, Birmingham, Luton and Hull but has not played since Bruce’s arrival in S6.

The forward was one of a number of senior players in action in the Sheffield derby win at Bramall Lane earlier this week, as new boys Dominic Iorfa, Rolando Aarons and Achraf Lazaar also got extra minutes under their belts.

Wednesday’s under-23s are due to play against Birmingham City on Monday and Charlton Athletic on Friday.

While Winnall will not be ready in time for the Owls’ match against Swansea, Bruce has been boosted by the return of captain Tom Lees.

Jordan Thorniley and Fernando Forestieri will both miss the game due to concussion and suspension, while George Boyd is a doubt having missed training through illness.