Where was Dominic Iorfa? Why was Massimo Luongo taken off? – Tony Pulis answers that and more as Sheffield Wednesday prepare to face Swansea City
Dominic Iorfa was a big name missing from Sheffield Wednesday’s line-up against Preston North End, but why wasn’t he available?
Iorfa, the reigning Player of the Year at Wednesday, has already missed as many games this season (six) than he did in the entire of his 2019/20 campaign (five), with a hamstring injury causing him issues that started ahead of the 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers.
The 25-year-old had returned to action last month and helped the Owls to back-to-back clean sheets against Bournemouth and Millwall, but fans noticed after Tony Pulis’ arrival that he wasn’t visible in any of the videos put out by the club.
Fears over his availability were realised when Pulis’ first Wednesday XI was named on Saturday afternoon, with ‘Big Dom’ left out of the squad completely as Tom Lees and Julian Börner were named at the heart of a back four.
Speaking to the media after the game, the new Owls boss gave an update on his defensive issues, saying, “It’s a leg injury, a muscular injury, and we are not sure (when he's going to be back). He has been on the grass for a couple of days, and we are hoping and praying that those two lads (Iorfa and Dunkley), two defenders that we’ve got, will get back as quick as they possibly can.”
It remains to be seen whether either of the duo will be able to feature against the Swans, but Pulis did speak highly of Lees and Borner for their efforts at Deepdale on Saturday.
Meanwhile, on the decision to sub Massimo Luongo after an hour, he said, “We were concerned that if it was longer than 60 minutes then he might pull it again, and we don’t want to take that chance… I thought he did smashing, he did well in that spot.”
Pulis doesn’t quite have a full squad to choose from going into Wednesday night’s game, with Jack Marriott having recently joined Aden Flint on the long-term injury list after he was ruled out for the remainder of the year with a calf injury – he has since returned to Derby County to recover.