Sheffield Wednesday’s Steve Bruce says Sam Winnall is not ready for first team action yet despite training “like a beast”
Steve Bruce has confirmed that Sam Winnall is not yet ready to be re-introduced to the first team despite the Sheffield Wednesday striker’s efforts in training and physio.
The forward, who turned down a deadline day loan move away from Hillsborough in January, has featured for the Owls’ under-23s side but has been limited in senior appearances as he returns from a long term injury lay off.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday’s south Yorkshire derby against Rotherham United, Bruce said Winnall has been working hard to regain match sharpness.
“I think that goes for a lot of long term players, it’s not going to be instant just because he is back on the training ground,” Bruce said.
“Any long term injury like he has had, he needs time and he’s itching to go and he’s trained like a beast in the last couple of weeks since I’ve been in.
“He played the other day against Leeds with the under-23s and it’s fair to say in our opinion that he’s a little bit short just yet but that’s inevitable with a long term.
“I’m sure that’s the same with Gary Hooper. The next one of course will be Kieran Lee.”
Owls captain Tom Lees has been the only fresh injury to the squad in a congested week of fixtures against Reading, Millwall and Rotherham, but Bruce confirmed the defender will be assessed before the trip to the New York Stadium.
“Everybody is ok. We didn’t get back until something like half past three in the morning but why on earth I was playing on Millwall on a Tuesday night is ridiculous to me but I’m not going to moan about it.
“Tom Lees got a chance, he trained the other day and we’ll see how the reaction is to his knee and we’ll go from medical advice.
“As yet I haven’t spoke to them so I think a lot depends on this morning so we’ll see how he gets through.”
Lees has missed the last two matches due to a training injury sustained last Friday, when he was cut on the shin by a stud.