Gary Hooper on comeback trail at Sheffield wednesday

Gary Hooper
Gary Hooper
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Gary Hooper is closing in on his long-awaited return from injury for Sheffield Wednesday.

The striker has not featured for the Owls in 14 months - his last game was Boxing Day 2017 - but the 31-year-old is back running, and hoping to join in first-team training later this month.

“He's not too far away, he's on the pitch," said Owls boss Steve Bruce. "He's out there and he's in the last throw of his rehabilitation really.

“We are hoping in the next week or so that he'll be joining in in some sort of capacity, that's what we've been given the feedback, so good for him.

“It'll be good to have him around. He's still going to be a little while yet that's for sure.”

Hooper is one of several long-term injured, including Sam Winnall and Kieran Lee - who missed most of 2018 due to injury.

The spate of injuries at Hillsborough over the last 18 months is an area which Bruce - in charge for his first home game tomorrow, for the visit of Reading - is keen to address.

“When I’ve looked over the last 12 to 18 months particularly the clubs has be dealt some serious injuries to a lot of players so it’s something that with time we’ll look at and see," he said. "Sometimes you can just be very unlucky and we’ve certainly had our fair share with Winnall and you see Hooper and Kieran Lee.

“It’s disappointing for all of them but something we’ll look at.”

Midfielder Josh Onomah is the latest player to join the injury list, after suffering another hamstring problem, which will sideline him for another month.

Bruce said: “Josh Onomah is the main one, he’ll not make it unfortunately he’s nicked a hamstring. It’s the other leg to the one he had previously done so it’s disappointing for him.

“I had a conversation with him the other day, it’s been one thing from another and there’s nothing worse when you’re a footballer and you’re injured. Especially when you’ve just recovered from one and you nick the other one, it’s cruel."