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Sheffield Wednesday: New injury puts Gary Hooper comeback on hold

Striker Gary Hooper has been hit by a setback as he bids to return to the Sheffield Wednesday first-team fold following a nine-month injury absence.

The centre-forward was closing in on a recall to the senior squad as he battled back from a hip problem suffered last December.

Gary Hooper

Gary Hooper

But the 30-year is now nursing a groin issue after stepping up his comeback with two appearances for the Owls' under-23 side.

The new injury is thought to be minor and Hooper could have recovered as early as next week.

"Maybe he will be back training on Monday. For now, he has only treatment," said manager Jos Luhukay who takes his team to Aston Villa for a Championship clash tomorrow.

All the main talking points from the press conference

"When you are so long out, it is not easy to come back to 100 per cent. He has played twice - one time for 45 minutes, one time for 60. 

"After the second game, he had the problem. It is one step back. Hopefully next week will be two forward."

Hooper featured in U-23 encounters against Colchester United and Leeds United and had been due to play his first full match of 2018 in tonight's U-23 Steel City derby with Sheffield United at Hillsborough.

"The plan was to give him 90 minutes but that plan has gone," Luhukay said. "He hasn't trained in the last days. We will see how he is."

Tonight’s match was Hooper’s final hurdle before Luhukay considered him ready for the first team again.