Sheffield Wednesday: Injury problems continue to mount up for Owls as Jos Luhukay sweats over trio ahead of Ipswich Town duel

Joe Wildsmith and Daniel Pudil
Joe Wildsmith and Daniel Pudil
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Injury-hit Sheffield Wednesday will assess the fitness of a trio of players ahead of tomorrow’s Championship showdown with Ipswich Town.

Daniel Pudil, Frederico Venancio and Lucas Joao are all nursing problems following Saturday’s 4-0 debacle at Bristol City.

Pudil was forced off at half-time with an ankle injury while Venancio and Joao have unspecified knocks.

Speaking in his press call at lunchtime today, Owls boss Jos Luhukay said: “I must wait on these three players.

“We are training this afternoon and I must decide after training if they can be in the squad and play 100 per cent against Ipswich.

“If they can’t make it tomorrow, we hope they can be fit for Saturday.”

Lucas Joao will be assessed by the Owls today

Lucas Joao will be assessed by the Owls today

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With defenders Pudil and Venancio big injury concerns, Tom Lees looks set make his first Owls start in over three months. The former Leeds United player was a half-time replacement for Pudil at Ashton Gate.

Luhukay said: “Tom has gone in a very good direction in the last weeks and months. He’s in a very good physical shape.”

Several key first-team players, including Keiren Westwood, Kieran Lee, Gary Hooper and Fernando Forestieri, remain sidelined by injury.

But Luhukay is confident Joost van Aken and Sam Hutchinson will be ready to action come the end of the month.

“We must have a little bit of patience,” he stressed. “Joost van Aken and Sam Hutchinson are two players who are going in a good direction.

“The next step is that they try to play in the Under-23s. When that goes very well, they can next be an option for us in the next two to three weeks.”

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Ipswich sit in 13th position in the Championship, 11 points clear of the Owls in 17th. Mick McCarthy’s men were due to face relegation-threatened Hull at Portman Road over the weekend but the fixture was postponed on Friday morning due to the freezing conditions.

Luhukay said: “It’s a new game and new challenge. We must, as a team, defend better. We must also trust ourselves offensively, creating chances and scoring goals.

“Our fans have stayed fantastic behind the team and we must give tomorrow 100 per cent and we must play the game from the first minute and not after 15-20 minutes.”

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