Sheffield Wednesday's forgotten man back in training at Middlewood Road - situation explained

One of Sheffield Wednesday’s long-term absentees has made his return to the training pitches at Middlewood Road.
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Chilean international Juan Delgado has not kicked a ball in anger since Xisco’s last match in charge of the Owls at the start of October. Reporting for international duty, the wide man suffered a hip issue that required surgery - and it soon became clear that he faced a race against time if he were to play any part in the remainder of the season.

While pictures posted on social media show Delgado taking part in training - interestingly alongside key man Ike Ugbo, who sat out of the midweek draw with Norwich City - it is highly unlikely he will be able to play any part in Wednesday’s season run-in.

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The Owls left three spaces open in their 25-man EFL Registration List after the January transfer window closed. Callum Paterson and Jeff Hendrick were registered later with both having been named in matchday squads in the last few weeks, while manager Danny Röhl confirmed to The Star that forward Lee Gregory had also been added to the list.

That means the squad list is full and that Delgado will likely not be eligible to step back into contention no matter his fitness. The understanding is that players cannot as a matter of course be deregistered from a club list, to make way for another player or otherwise.

EFL dispensation can be given - though in exceptional circumstances only. As per EFL rule 44.9.6; ‘Changes to a Squad List may be made: (a) during the period of a Transfer Window; and (b) at other times only with the permission of The League.’

“It’s a bit of a never-ending story,” Röhl told The Star when asked on Delgado’s status back in February. “I think it’s really tough to see him, but he’s working hard in the gym. At the moment there hasn’t been a time where he’s close to team training and in this case we have to wait.

“Maybe there is an opportunity, but it could also be that he cannot play for Wednesday again. It’s difficult to say at the moment what will happen in the next months."