Sheffield Wednesday: Key trio facing race against time to make start of season

Owls boss Jos Luhukay at Lincoln City. Picture: Steve Ellis
Owls boss Jos Luhukay at Lincoln City. Picture: Steve Ellis
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Boss Jos Luhukay says it “will be difficult” for Kieran Lee, Steven Fletcher and Gary Hooper to be ready for the start of the season.

Although Lee, Fletcher and Hooper have taken part in some of the Owls’ pre-season programme, the trio were not involved in the club’s 1-0 friendly win at Lincoln City last night.

Lee, Fletcher and Hooper have not played due to injury in 2018.

Asked if they will be fit in time for Wednesday’s league curtain-raiser against Wigan Athletic in three weeks time, Luhukay said: “It will be difficult for these three players but these must work hard on themselves and they do that. We give no time and we give no pressure on these three players.

“Kieran has been out for one year and Gary Hooper and Steven Fletcher from December.”

The Dutchman, who fielded two different teams at Sincil Bank, said Lee and Fletcher are closer to returning than Hooper.

“Kieran Lee and Steven Fletcher have made good progression,” he said. “They are not available to play for us but they have trained in the last week 100 per cent with the group so we are happy with that.

“Gary Hooper is the only player who is not 100 per cent but he has also made progression. With these three players, we must have a little bit of patience.

“They have not played with the team since December last year. It is a long time and they have only trained one week 100 per cent with the group, not Gary.

“Step by step and we hope that they come in their best form which they had before their injuries.”

Luhukay refused to be drawn on whether he has room to manoeuvre in the transfer market following the departures of Jack Hunt and Jordan Rhodes.

“When the transfer window is open, anything can happen,” said Luhukay.

“But we only have the focus on every day working with our team and what we have.

“We have a squad where we have good quality.”

READ MORE: Report: Lincoln 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1