Rob set for Cup return

Owls skipper: Rob Jones has missed the last two games
Owls skipper: Rob Jones has missed the last two games
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CAPTAIN Rob Jones is set to return to the Wednesday side for the FA Cup clash with West Ham at Hillsborough on Sunday.

He has recovered from the back problem that sidelined him for the last two games.

The skipper’s comeback is timely with Miguel Llera cup-tied and therefore ineligible even if the Owls re-sign him after his loan from Blackpool ended on Tuesday.

Megson remains keen on a deal with Llera in view of his impressive performances while Jones has been out and is “optimistic” that one can be struck.

“We are hopeful,” said the manager. “Paul Aldridge [vice-chairman] is dealing with it and I am optimistic we can get something done in the near future.”

Jones went off during the Walsall game and was replaced by Llera, who went on as a sub at the Bescot Stadium and started the wins against Preston and Tranmere.

Megson added: “Rob has returned to training and he is okay. He’s had a back problem from time to time; fortunately it goes away as quickly as it comes on. He should be available for Sunday.”

Gary Madine and Lewis Buxton are stepping up fitness work as part of their rehabilitation but are not yet back in full training.

Ben Marshall’s return on loan has still yet to be confirmed. Stoke denied permission for him to play for Wednesday in the FA Cup but if he was to sign for them on loan for the rest of the season then he could become eligible. His current loan does not end until January 15.

Should Marshall miss out on Sunday then Megson has several options to replace him, including Jermaine Johnson, Liam Palmer and Chris Sedgwick.

Llera’s absence means the back four who stood firm against Tranmere is sure to be disrupted but Megson will not worry about having to tinker with the side for the FA Cup.

He said: “This is an important game but it’s nowhere near as important as the one next week.” League One leaders Charlton visit Hillsborough a week tomorrow with the Owls five points behind them in second.

n Owls: P36/37