Sheffield Wednesday: Carlos Carvalhal explains why the Owls will be even stronger after the international break

Sam Hutchinson
Sam Hutchinson
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Head coach Carlos Carvalhal expects some of his injured Owls stars to return to first-team action after the international break.

A host of senior players, including Keiren Westwood, Glenn Loovens, Sam Hutchinson and Almen Abdi, sat-out Sunday’s impressive victory over Leeds United.

Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

Wednesday also had to rejig their back four in the first half against their West Yorkshire counterparts, with Jack Hunt taken off because of his ongoing knee problem.

George Boyd (shoulder) and Fernando Forestieri (knee) remain long-term absentees.

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A rib injury forced Westwood to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad this week.

Republic boss Martin O’Neill said: “I am disappointed to lose Keiren as he is an outstanding goalkeeper and a great lad to have in and around the dressing room.”

While it remains unclear whether Westwood or Hunt will be available for selection when the Owls resume their Championship campaign with a trip to struggling Bolton Wanderers on October 14, Loovens, Hutchinson and Abdi are on the comeback trail. The trio are back in full training following lengthy lay-offs.

“The international break is good to us,” Carvalhal told The Star. “I believe after the international break we will comeback more strong because we will recover players.”

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It has been a frustrating period for Loovens, who damaged his hip in the Hillsborough draw with Queens Park Rangers on August 12.

The defender said: “It is never nice to get injured so the last six or seven weeks have been difficult. I didn’t have a great pre-season, either, with injury so the QPR game was a blow.

“At first, we thought it was merely a minor knock but things were a bit more serious. We had to make sure it healed well because an injury like this can be a recurring thing.

“I have been training this week. Ideally, you want a bit more training underneath but if he needs me and wants me to play then I will not say ‘no’.

“We have an extra two weeks after this, maybe get a game scheduled in there somewhere. We will see. I leave it to the manager.”

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