VIDEO: Sheffield Wednesday have depth to deal with Gary Hooper injury for play-off semi-final with Huddersfield Town

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Glenn Loovens insists the Owls can cope without Gary Hooper if the striker is forced to sit-out the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final encounter with Huddersfield Town.

As revealed by The Star earlier this week, Hooper is a big injury concern for the end-of-season shootout after picking up a hamstring injury in training.

The 29-year-old, who has claimed six goals in 24 appearances this season, flew to Spain to receive specialist treatment.

Skipper Loovens told The Star: "We all know Gary is a very good player and we would rather have him fit than injured.

"But in football you can't always control these things and you have to do it with the players that are available and Gary isn't available which is a shame for us. We have to look ahead.

"He's an important player for us but we have a big squad.

Gary Hooper is unlikely to face Huddersfield Town tomorrow in the first leg of the play-off semi-finals

Gary Hooper is unlikely to face Huddersfield Town tomorrow in the first leg of the play-off semi-finals

"We have a lot of strikers so the manager has plenty of choice. I think we will be alright."


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Speaking at his press call today, head coach Carlos Carvalhal refused to rule out the possibility of Hooper being involved. He claimed Hooper's injury was not as bad as first feared.

"He's outside, he's not inside," said Carvalhal. "It's not a problem so heavy that we thought at the beginning.

"When I say a player's outside, it means he's not inside the medical department like he was before.

"He's running, he's touching the ball. Let's see his reactions in training and if he can recover faster than we thought at the beginning."

Carvalhal has no new injuries to contend with ahead of the first leg, which takes place at the John Smith's Stadium tomorrow lunchtime. The second leg will be staged at Hillsborough on Wednesday.

The Portuguese boss said: "We feel strong and confident. We have options to play and on the bench.

"We have confidence in all the players and we feel ready for tomorrow's game."