Sheffield United injury troubles look like easing as a quartet of players start their long road back to fitness.
Long-term injured Ryan Flynn, Craig Alcock, Terry Kennedy and Harrison McGahey all featured for the first time in a practice match on Wednesday,
All four have not played since last season, meaning their pre-season fitness work starts now.
As Blades boss Nigel Adkins looks to strengthen his squad, the quartet’s return to contact training is a welcome sight.
“I was really pleased today because we were able to play XI v XI, and the likes of Flynn, Alcock, Kennedy and McGahey - who have been out for a long time - they have participated,” said Adkins.
“All being well they are over the injury situation, and we just need to build their fitness levels. It’s now like that first part of pre-season.
“The recovery is different for each one. It’s unrealistic to figure they will play at the weekend, for example.
“But it’s great that we have them out on the training ground. When you start pre-season, you normally look for a good six, seven weeks before you are up to speed.”
Adkins, a former physio himself, admits his previous experiences do help him appreciate injury problems and recovery times.
“It’s been beneficial that I had 10 years in that role (physio),” he admitted. “When we start talking terminology, I am aware of it, and I can draw on my experiences that I have had over my career. Our medical team are doing very well.”
Stefan Scougall and Neill Collins picked up injuries in the midweek win at Peterborough United and will miss tomorrow’s visit of Blackpool.
“Scougall has had a couple of stitches in a gashed ankle, which is quite swollen,” said Adkins. “Obviously, he will be a doubt for the weekend.
“Neill Collins came off the other day feeling his calf as well, so he will be a doubt as well.”