Sheffield Wednesday hoping Chey Dunkley will play again this season

Joost van Aken and Fisayo Dele-Bashiru are not yet ready to return to Sheffield Wednesday's first team but the hope is they and Chey Dunkley might be able to feature before the end of the season.

With no fresh injuries from Monday's 5-0 win over Cardiff City, a little bit of extra rest time in the context of this season, and after such an impressive performance, it would be hard to see too many changes to the side for Saturday's Championship trip to Queens Park Rangers anyway.

Centre-back van Aken played 45 minutes as the under-23s beat Hull City in midweek but having been out since Boxing Day with a groin injury, he is not yet ready for the rigours of the Championship.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“The two players who are back in and around it but we just feel they need more volume are Joost and young Fiz,” explained Darren Moore who will be back in training himself on Monday after recovering from Covid-19. “They're back in and around the squad and at this stage of the season when you can welcome any more bodies back in are highly positive because for the run-in I just want as many bodies as we can possibly get fit on the training ground.

INJURED: Sheffield Wednesday centre-back Chey Dunkley is out with a hamstring problem

“But they're just starting. They've been back in the next week. They need some more volume before they're back in and around the first team.”

Of the other players who have been out for a lengthy period, most are not expected to feature again this season, as Moore has already outlined.

“Maybe the one who might be able to get back in it is Chey Dunkley,” he said. “If he can keep developing over the next two or three weeks we could see him as part of the group because he's at the most advanced stage.

“The others have been longer-term injuries and the biggest thing for us is to get them back and stay back. It's pointless rushing them for a week or two, they need that strength. They've been doing really well and they're at the last stage of their rehabilitation. That last last stage is probably the most crucial stage because they're wanting to get back out there but that's probably where you've just got to pull the reins on them a little bit and make sure they complete the process.”

Centre-back Dunkley signed for the Owls whilst still recovering from a broken leg and his season has never really got going, with just 11 appearances between December and February. His latest issue is a hamstring problem.

Keiren Westwood is fit again after a rib injury, having been on the bench against Cardiff, but Joe Wildsmith looks set to continue in goal at Loftus Road.

“The injury now is healed, which is really, really pleasing,” said Moore of Westwood. “He came back last week and had a little bit of bone bruising. It's just about him getting back into training for two or three days, diving around, coming for crosses, diving on the injury to see that he's secure now and that little bit of discomfort diving now is just bruising.

“He was back on the bench and I thought Joe had a good game and did really well so to have those two goalkeepers competing is excellent.”

Moore will again be in contact with this players and coaches from home, but is due to be the last game before he is able to return to the dugout.

“Wednesday, Thursday (of last week) I didn't feel too great,” he revealed. “I spoke to the doctor on the Thursday and he did a couple tests on me and I was infected. I'd been laid low since.

“My body was just in pain for four, five days, my bones, my shoulders, my chest, my legs.

“I'm asthmatic as well so my breathing was limited but the doc was excellent, and got some steroid tablets to me. I started feeling a lot, lot better once I got into day three of taking the steroids in terms of my breathing.

“The pain was a weird one. It really drains you, a lethargy all over you, but the last couple of days I've been eating properly and feeling a lot better.

“Today (Friday) is a big day for me because Thursday was the first day I felt energised and I woke up this morning and still felt the same. I'm a lot better. Now I feel I could get back in it and crack on.

“I know everybody's different but that's what I felt over the last six or seven days.”

The Owls, who host Swansea City on Tuesday, are seven points from safety with seven matches remaining.

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you'll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.