Sheffield United handed pre-Wembley injury boost to go with positive off-field news

Chris Basham is standing by to play for Sheffield United at Wembley with Anel Ahmehodzic still waiting for the arrival of his first child.

But one thing has been clarified, with the club now out of its transfer embargo, allowing it to agree contracts with new players.

The Bosnian centre-back was pulled out of last weekend's game at home to Cardiff City with his wife close to giving birth. But he was involved in Tuesday's 1-0 win over Bristol City, and will be in the squad for this weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City, but on the proviso that he can be pulled away if there is any news.

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Basham missed both the last two games, but manager Paul Heckingbottom has revealed he would have featured had Ahmedhodzic been unavailable.

"It will be the same set up, we know what we are going to do, we will have extra bodies down there and we will know what to do if something happens," said Heckingbottom. "This could go on for a few weeks, we're all prepared for that, Anel has got his head around that. We just want everyone to be comfortable with the situation he's in.

"It's part of life. He's going to be a new dad, he's chasing promotion, he's got an FA Cup semi-final, he's over the moon."

Basham's back went into spasm ahead of the Cardiff game but he trained on Thursday ready for Wembley.

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"He declared himself fit for the game in midweek and we probably would have started him if Anel was pulled away," said Heckingbottom. "I just felt it was best that he rested up a couple of days and made sure he was 100 per cent for the midweek game."

POSITIVE NEWS: Sheffield United manager Paul HeckingbottomPOSITIVE NEWS: Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom
POSITIVE NEWS: Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom

Enda Stevens returned to training on Thursday but Ben Osborn is still injured.

"It is good to have him back on the grass and we are just progressing slowly," said his manager.

Stevens last appearance for the Blades was in the third round on January 7, so they will have to be careful about bringing him back.

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As Heckingbottom was speaking to the media it emerged that the club have come out of the Football League embargo they were put into in January.

In practical terms, it mean the club will now be in a position to extend the contracts of any of their players if they so wish. But if they beat West Bromwich Albion at Bramall Lane on Wednesday, they will confirm promotion to the Premier League, giving them a clearer idea of what they will need in 2023-24.