Sheffield Wednesday: Gary Hooper ready for full game after nearly nine months out

Striker Gary Hooper is in line to play his first full match of 2018 as he closes in on a return to Sheffield Wednesday's first-team squad.

The centre-forward hasn't played for the senior side since suffering a hip injury on Boxing Day last year.

Gary Hooper

Gary Hooper

But he could be given a 90-minute outing in the Owls' under-23 Steel City derby against Sheffield United at Hillsborough on Friday night after coming through earlier tests with the Academy team.

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The 30-year-old appeared for 45 minutes in the U-23's 2-1 home in over Colchester United on September 10 and followed that up with a 60-minute stint in the 2-2 draw with Leeds United yesterday.

"If the reaction to that (Monday) is positive in the next few days, he can maybe play 90 minutes on Friday," manager Jos Luhukay confirmed.

The speed of Hooper's first-team call hinges on the quality of his displays with Wednesday's youngsters.

"It depends how his physical side is and how his performances are," Luhukay said.