Return of popular Sheffield Wednesday man hugely important given potential ban for Marvin Johnson

Word of a potential retrospective suspension for Sheffield Wednesday near ever-present Marvin Johnson has accelerated the need for one of their returning wounded to get up to speed and fast.
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The ever-dependable Reece James has sat out of the Owls’ title effort since landing awkwardly in a challenge at Wycombe Wanderers over a month ago but has been welcomed back to matchday contention by manager Darren Moore when he was named as an unused substitute in the win over Morecambe on Tuesday evening.

The 29-year-old – on loan from Championship Blackpool – has played in a number of different positions since arriving at Hillsborough in the summer and deputised to outstanding effect for Akin Famewo in the first half of the campaign.

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Owls Reece James holds off Vales James Wilson   Pic Steve EllisOwls Reece James holds off Vales James Wilson   Pic Steve Ellis
Owls Reece James holds off Vales James Wilson Pic Steve Ellis
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James is most widely recognised as a left-sided wing-back, however, and has only had the opportunity to play there in Wednesday colours a handful of times owing to the form of Marvin Johnson.

Johnson faces the threat of a retrospective FA ban for his role in an off-the-ball incident in last weekend’s draw at Ipswich Town, however, meaning James’ return to fitness could arrive at the best possible time.

“Having him back is important, without a doubt,” Moore told The Star on Tuesday. “He can go in anywhere down that left hand side with his versatility and that opens up all sorts of different options for us.

“We’re really pleased to have him back and he’s right on cue. I could have put him on tonight [against Morecambe], I thought many times about giving him those minutes but he’s a fit boy is Reece and we’ve been so pleased to have him back in training.”

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It is understood that there had been fears within the club James could be out for much longer and has returned to contention ahead of schedule.

“He’s a quick healer and he’d always said that,” Moore continued. “He’s been back in full training since Thursday so he’s had a good innings.

“He was a little bit sore so I didn’t want to risk him down at Ipswich, but I was pleased to have him back on the bench. I wanted to get him on but it didn’t pan out that way.”