Sheffield Wednesday: Owls hope for quickfire Lees recovery

Tom Lees
Tom Lees
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Sheffield Wednesday are hopeful centre-back Tom Lees will make a swift return to action.

The 26-year-old sat out Saturday’s turgid goalless draw with Reading due to a groin problem.

It was the first fixture Lees, who has been a mainstay of the Owls defence in recent years, had missed all season.

Head coach Carlos Carvalhal revealed Lees was feeling pain in his adductor muscle after the Hillsborough victory over Millwall last month.

“He started feeling the pain in the Millwall game,” he told The Star. “It was in this period in the last two seasons where he had a very hard injury.

“He couldn’t play (on Saturday). He felt a big pain in his adductor and hadn’t recovered between games. He didn’t have any chance to play.”

When asked if Lees will be available for selection for Saturday’s encounter with Hull City, Carvalhal said: “We don’t know about Tom. It depends. He has a hard pain at this moment. Let’s see if he can recover for the next game. We have some expectations.

“We must be careful and manage him.”

Although Carvalhal had to make one enforced change to his back four because of Lees’ injury setback, the Portuguese chief also freshened up other departments of his team to combat the team’s third match in the space of eight days. He made a further five changes, including dropping strikers Gary Hooper and Jordan Rhodes to the bench. Both came on as second-half substitutes.

Hamstring injuries sidelined Hooper, Wednesday’s leading marksman with nine goals, on two separate occasions last term as the club suffered play-off heartache for the second year running.

“If you remember in the last two seasons, it was at this crucial moment where Gary has had an injury,” said Carvalhal. “We must be clever about him and Tom.

“They have both in this period had very hard injuries.

“I believe we could have had problems if we had played Gary from the start against Reading as he has been on red alert.

“When he plays too many games in a row, he’s a player that gives a dangerous sign. We must take care of him, especially when we play Wednesday and Saturday because it is a very short time.

“We must also be careful with Kieran Lee and Fletch (Steven Fletcher).”

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