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Video: Sam Hutchinson gives Sheffield Wednesday a boost ahead of derby date with Sheffield United

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Injury-ravaged Sheffield Wednesday should be lifted by the probable return of combative midfielder Sam Hutchinson for Friday night's derby against United.

Hutchinson made a return to the side over the Christmas period against Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest and Brentford then missed the matches against Burton and Carlisle United after feeling the effects of his prolonged spell on the sidelines.

Sam Hutchinson should be available to face Sheffield United on Friday night

Sam Hutchinson should be available to face Sheffield United on Friday night

Lee Bullen revealed that the 28 year-old, who before that comeback against Boro had been out of action since mid-October, wanted to play in the FA Cup match at Brunton Park on Saturday. However, the then stand-in boss felt it necessary to allow Hutchinson another week's rest, to be ready for the crucial encounter with the Blades at Bramall Lane.

There was a further injury boost, with Bullen stating that Jack Hunt and Almen Abdi should also bolster what is a threadbare squad at present.

"Sam was a 50-50 and it is one of them where I thought that if I threw him in and he misses out on Friday, I was almost hanging myself," admitted Bullen. "It was important we got through this game without taking a chance on Sam.

"Abdi should be back after taking a knock on his calf, which was a disappointment because he was probably one of the players we were looking at maybe getting involved. Jack Hunt should be back after resting his knee.

"That's three - touch wood. Half the time we think we are getting two or three back, it ends up being two or three going out with the way it is. But that should help the group going forward, if we get these back."

There are not expected to be any other comebacks from those currently unavailable - a list that includes, from regular starters this season, the likes of Keiren Westwood, Barry Bannan, Tom Lees, Steven Fletcher, Gary Hooper, Joost van Aken and Kieran Lee.