Sheffield Wednesday coach reacts to defender’s long-awaited return - future remains uncertain

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Ben Heneghan may not be a Sheffield Wednesday player currently, but he was back out in blue and white on Friday afternoon.

The 29-year-old was one of a number of players who didn’t see their contracts extended at Hillsborough once promotion to the Championship had been sealed, however the centre back has remained at Hillsborough as a duty of care since then as he gets back to full fitness.

Heneghan picked up a serious injury at Lincoln City during a game towards the end of last year, a injury that required surgery and months of rehabilitation – on Friday he got his first 45 minutes of football since then, starting in the Owls’ U21s 3-1 win over Watford.

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He and another returnee, Ciaran Brennan, kept a clean sheet in the first half before the ex-AFC Wimbledon was replaced at the break, and Neil Thompson says that he was pleased to see the defender make his comeback.

“It was really nice to see, and he’s a great kid is Ben. He’s been doing his rehab, has waited patiently for the chance to get his first 45 minutes, and now he’s done that… It’s also good for the young players to watch a senior pro go about their work. I like my centre halves to be seen and not heard, to not look good just be good in terms of keeping things solid and ticking over. And that’s what both Ben and Ciaran did.”

What happens next for the defender remains to be seen, with it seeming unlikely that there will be a new deal offered at Hillsborough following a host of defensive arrivals. He was happy to be back on the field, though, saying that all his hard work had paid off.

“10 months out!!” had said on Instagram last week. “It’s been a battle and something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Buzzing to be back and to play my first game today. I want to thank all the people who helped me get back playing. All the hard work pays off! Some feeling being back on the grass doing what you love.”

Heneghan will remain training with Wednesday until he’s signed off as being fully fit once again.

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