MAMADY SIDIBE is hoping to end a two-year injury nightmare after joining Championship strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.
The 32-year-old joined the Owls on a month’s loan from Stoke City and is set to feature in tomorrow’s Hillsborough match with Leicester City.
It will be Sidibe’s first competitive match since he played for Stoke against Tottenham in the Premier League back in August 2010, following serious knee and Achilles tendon injuries.
Manager Dave Jones – who also secured Manchester City rookie left-back Jeremy Helan on loan – was desperate to recruit another striker to bolster the misfiring Owls, who sit fourth from bottom in the Championship. Sunderland had earlier refused an approach for Connor Wickham.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis believes Mali international Sidibe deserves a change of fortune as he continues his road to recovery. He played 82 minutes for Stoke’s Under-21 development squad match against Tottenham last weekend, returning with a goal.
“This is fantastic news for Mama and everyone here wishes him well over the next few weeks at Hillsborough,” said Pulis.
“It’s been a long, long road back and an incredibly tough time for him, but he’s now got an excellent chance to get out on a football pitch again and play for a top club at Championship level. I know he will be in good hands playing for Dave Jones.
“Mama deserves all the luck in the world after what he’s been through, but I am sure he will just be happy to get back to what he does best.”
Sidibe, who scored 26 goals in 186 appearances for Stoke, 48 of which were in the Premier League, started his career in England with Swansea before a three-year spell at Gillingham.
Standing 6ft 4ins, his scoring record is not prolific but he will provide a focal point for Wednesday’s attacks and look to get on the end of winger Michail Antonio’s crosses.
The Owls also completed a deadline-day loan deal for French Under-19 left-back Helan, who can also play on the left side of midfield, from the Premier League champions.
The 20-year-old – who made his City debut this season in their 4-2 League Cup defeat to Aston Villa – was recalled early from a loan spell at Shrewsbury Town to allow a move to Hillsborough to go through.
Helan has spent three years coming through the ranks at the Etihad Stadium and last season had a loan spell at Carlisle United in League One.
Daniel Jones is the current Owls left-back, with Reda Johnson having not played due to a foot injury since the 3-1 defeat to Huddersfield Town in September.