Sheffield Wednesday caretaker boss Neil Thompson on injuries and free agents

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY caretaker manager Neil Thompson says that he feels for luckless defender Joost van Aken who has suffered a fresh injury setback.

The Dutchman, out of action since Boxing Day, picked up a separate ankle injury in the recent under-23 games with Birmingham and is set for another spell on the sidelines.

Better news has seen Liam Shaw (shoulder) step up his comeback to the first-team scene by returning to training, with Thompson hopeful that Callum Paterson will be fine for Saturday’s trip to Millwall after tweaking his ankle when his studs got caught in the ground in the midweek win at Bournemouth.

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Moses Odubajo is expected to be out for a few more weeks with his hamstring problem.

Neil Thompson.Neil Thompson.
Neil Thompson.

Thompson confirmed: “Joost turned his ankle unfortunately in the under-23s game and it is a really fine line. They need to play games to get back in condition or they will have the same issues anyway when they play first-team mages.

“He just landed awkwardly when he went up for a header and unfortunately for Joost, he turned his ankle and it came up a little.

"With that one, I cannot put any time on (it), it is how long is a piece of string. But I feel for him. He did a lot of work in re-hab with his other injury and to come back after two or three days is disappointing for him and us.

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“Liam was back on the grass yesterday (Thursday) and the day before and we will have a look at him this morning.

“Odubajo will be out for a wee while, cannot put a length of time on it, but it will probably be a few weeks.”

Confirming that Chey Dunkley and Massimo Luongo showed no ill effects after making their first-team return from the bench at Bournemouth, he added: “In times like this, you need experience and quality and people who have been there and done it and with the two players who have big characters about them, we have had to nurse them back through injuries and we will have a look at everyone this morning.

“Going into these last couple of months and the amount of games coming up, we are going to need everyone on board.

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"Everyone had to jump on board with what we are trying. Everyone has got to stick together.”

Meanwhile, Thompson says there is nothing imminent bringing in any free agents to the club.

He said: “It is just wait and see. People between now and the end of the season - if their time is up at a club - contracts will start getting paid up and people want to get out and play -and we will just see where that one goes.

“There is nothing in the offing at this moment in time, but it is something that the recruitment guys will keep their eye on."

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