Wednesday boss Jos Luhukay has explained his decision to leave club captain Glenn Loovens out of the last three matchday squads.
Loovens, who moved to Hillsborough on a free transfer in November 2013, has not featured since the 2-1 home defeat to Ipswich Town last month.
The 34-year-old centre-half was an unused substitute against Bolton Wanderers but then subsequently left out of the Owls’ victories over Leeds United, Preston North End and Sunderland.
Luhukay told The Star: “I spoke with Glenn about how I see the situation. It is very open.
“Glenn is a fantastic person and an unbelievably positive character. He understands my decisions. It is important for him and me.
“He has had very good performances in the last few years at the club.
“But I must also look to the quality and to the performance from the whole team and also from Glenn.
“I think Glenn is not a young player anymore. We have played a lot of the games and it is not easy when you come in at that age to be 100 per cent.
“Every play can look to Glenn and what he does every day, not just on the field but also in the gym.
“I have a lot of respect for Glenn and it is not an easy decision that he must now stay a little bit out of the team.”
Luhukay has not ruled out the possibility of Loovens being involved in the final six matches as Wednesday look to finish a disappointing campaign on a high.
It remains to be seen whether Loovens, who has played nearly 150 matches for the club, will be on their books come the start of next season. His present contract expires this summer.
“We have not spoken about the future,” stressed Luhukay. “We will do that in the next weeks.
“It is not Glenn alone. When the time is there, I will also speak openly and honestly about the future from the players where their contract is finished.”
Loovens will be hoping for a first-team recall when Wednesday face Fulham at Hillsborough tomorrow.
His fellow countryman Joost van Aken is definitely out. The defender has suffered a fresh injury setback and faces a race against time to be fit for the start of pre-season training.
“On April 19, he will have surgery on his ankle,” confirmed Luhukay. “He will be out for a long time and Joost will not play this season.
“We must only hope and of course for Joost himself, that maybe - and that is a question - that he can start in the new pre-season.
“It is the worst situation for him now. Joost was very happy after he came back from his hamstring (injury). He had been training three weeks with the team and now he has a new problem with his ankle.
“He trained very intensively in the gym and did a lot of core work. It is very frustrating for him that he can’t play.”