Sheffield United receive Coutts boost

SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Chris Wilder has revealed that Paul Coutts has been pencilled in for his long-awaited first-team return in a friendly next month - and is not ruling him out from being involved in the Blades' Championship opener in early August.

Paul Coutts receives oxygen after breaking his leg at Burton last season (Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage)

The influential midfielder has been out of action since mid-November after suffering a fractured tibia in a horrific incident in the league victory at Burton Albion.

The 29-year-old has undergone seven months of intensive rehabilitation work since and is now coming to the end of his long road to recovery and is likely to be involved in action towards the end of pre-season.

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Wilder said: “Paul is really good. I am not going to say he will step in straight away but he is coming to Portugal (for a pre-season training camp).

“Going into our our home (friendly) fixture in July, we are looking at him being involved. If not, he will be involved at Doncaster on the Friday (July 27) which is great news for us.

“I am not saying he is going to be doing everything straight away but he will be doing the majority of stuff. It is not an unrealistic target for him to be involved on the opening day. Which is great for us.”

Sheffield United's Paul Coutts lies injured after a serious leg injury during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Pirelli Stadium, Burton last November (Picture: PA).