Influential defender Tom Lees is expected to miss all of Sheffield Wednesday’s festive programme due to injury, The Star has learned.
Lees sat-out his first match of the season yesterday as Carlos Carvalhal’s troops drew 0-0 with high-flying Derby County.
Scan results have confirmed the centre-back is poised to be out of action for four to six weeks after sustaining a hamstring tear in the Owls’ cup defeat to Stoke City last week.
With Lees, Vincent Sasso and Michael Turner all sidelined, Sam Hutchinson was deployed as an emergency centre-back, playing a pivotal role in Wednesday recording their fourth clean sheet in their last five Hillsborough matches.
Jack Hunt (calf) was another notable absentee but it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the right-back could be included in the travelling party for next Saturday’s trip to Cardiff City. It is thought centre-half Turner is also edging closer to a first-team comeback.
Carvalhal refused to put a timescale on when Lees or Hunt will be available for selection again, saying: “I don’t want to talk about the players who are missing. All the players recover at different speeds. We will see what players recover for next week.”
Victory would have moved Wednesday up into the Championship play-off positions, but Carvalhal said he was “proud” of their showing against one of the form sides in the division.
“We played a quality game,” he insisted. “We didn’t lose our heads.
“We played a strong team and tried to press them. They had their moments in the game but we didn’t lose our balance. We were compact. We did very well.”
Carvalhal felt the Owls squandered two points, claiming they should have been ahead at half-time after dominating the first period.
The result means Wednesday are still searching for a win over a top-six side this season, picking up three points out of a possible 15.
Winger Ross Wallace said: “I’m happy but disappointed a little bit. I thought we played some good stuff and edged it.
“Derby had a couple of chances at the end but I think we dominated the midfield area. They didn’t really get to grips with the way we played.
“Baz (Barry Bannan) came in and we played as a tight four. We played well and were disappointed we didn’t get that clear-cut chance to nick it in the end.”