Sheffield Wednesday suffer defensive blow ahead of Stoke City tussle

Sheffield Wednesday will be without the services of club captain Tom Lees when they entertain second-from-bottom Stoke City.

Sunday, 20th October 2019, 10:00 am
Updated Sunday, 20th October 2019, 5:18 pm
Owls skipper Tom Lees

The experienced defender is back in full training after recovering from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him since the Owls' away defeat to Preston North End on August 24.

But Tuesday's home meeting with a rejuvenated Stoke team will come too soon for Lees. It will be the 10th match running that the 28-year-old has missed and Lees may not be fit to face his former club Leeds United at Hillsborough this weekend.

Wednesday manager Garry Monk told The Star: "Tom won't be involved against Stoke and possibly not even the weekend. We will see.

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"Tom has been out quite a while and the normal protocol that I try and follow is anyone that has been over two weeks has to tick all the boxes and maybe have to play one or two games behind-closed-doors or even a 23s game to really make sure there is going to be no break down."

In Lees' absence, Dominic Iorfa has formed a strong centre-back pairing with fans' favourite Julian Börner. German defender Börner opened his Owls goal-scoring account in their controversial draw at Cardiff City last week.

"Tom has been out quite a while so I will assess him," stressed Monk, who hopes goalkeeper Keiren Westwood will quickly shrug off an ankle injury that he sustained in the warm-up prior to the Cardiff fixture. "He is a fit lad but he might need one or two behind-closed doors or 23s games to really show he is fit to us and himself."

Wednesday's Under-23s host Bolton Wanderers at Stocksbridge Park Steels at 1pm on Monday.