Sheffield Wednesday: Madine poised for Owls outing

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Gary Madine will make his comeback by playing for part of an Under 21 game against Birmingham at Middlewood tomorrow (1pm).

The striker who was recently released from prison has also attracted interest from clubs who have asked about the possibility of taking him on loan, Stuart Gray revealed today.

The Owls boss said that Madine and David Prutton, who has been out for months with an ankle injury, will probably each play for 45 minutes of tomorrow’s game.

Gray said: “The ball’s in his (Madine’s) court. We’ve given him a second opportunity. He’s grateful for it.

“What we know is he wants to play games. He’s got an oppoortuinity tomorrow.,

“I think I’ve had calls from about half a dozen clubs as well that possibly want to take him on loan.

“There’s a few options available for me. Obviously we’ve got Leon Best, Atdhe Nuhiu, Benik Afobe, Caolan Lavery and we could probably put Chris Maguire up front, so forwards-wise I’m quite flushed.

“I’ll evaluate it, whether I allow him to go out on loan.

“He needs to get back playing and get back to a level of fitness,

“It’s doesn’t matter what training you do. He’ll need that match sharpness.

“I think it will be a great release for him, going out on the pitch and playing 11 v 11 and hopefully doing what he’s good at: we know he can put the ball in the back of the net, and it would give him a bit of confidence, a bit of a lift, if he hits the ground running with a goal.

“We can’t rush him back. We’ve got to make sure that when he does come back, he can last a game for 90 minutes.

“He might have a few cameo roles. coming off the bench for me, but what he produces on the training pitch and in these games might force my hand to pick him as the out-and-out striker.”

Gray said that Joe Mattock will be out for at least three weeks with his thigh injury.

Reda Johnson has suffered a new injury, to his thigh, and will be sideline for another 10 to 14 days.

But Lewis Buxton is back in training and in contention to be in the squad for Saturday’s game at Yeovil.