Sheffield Wednesday v Preston North End: Fernando Forestieri ‘needs time to come back to 100 per cent’

Fernando Forestieri has been sidelined for more than six months with a knee injury.
Fernando Forestieri has been sidelined for more than six months with a knee injury.
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MANAGER Jos Luhukay has paid tribute to the “special” attacking qualities of Fernando Forestieri, but is remaining coy as to whether he will make his eagerly-awaited Sheffield Wednesday first-team comeback this afternoon.

Forestieri featured for the development squad on Monday and scored from the spot in front of Luhukay, who has confirmed that the Argentine will be in his squad today.

The 28-year-old has not played since August after undergoing an operation to repair a cruciate knee ligament injury and his return to the Owls side would provide a major fillip to Wednesday ahead of the final month of a forgettable campaign.

Luhukay said: “It is not easy for Fernando when you have the knee injury he had and have six and a half months out.

“You cannot expect he can come in and we win every game and he makes the goals and the assists.

“We know he has a special quality – he is a good technical player and a good view with the final pass, but he can also score.

“We know that, but we have to give him time to come back to 100 per cent form to show his quality. We are not afraid to bring him back to the team, he is in good shape and made a good impression in training and the time is right to put him back in the team.

“I know he can make a difference or do something special for him or the team. But we must wait and see what he can do. Step by step, he must work hard and we hope it is very positive what he can do.”

Luhukay confirmed that Gary Hooper visited a specialist in London yesterday to discuss the “next steps” regarding his rehabilitation from a groin injury.

Last six games: Sheffield Wednesday LLLLDW Preston DLWWLW.

Referee: T Robinson (West Sussex).

Last time: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Preston 1; December 3, 2016; Championship.