Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan on the game he has targeted for return and the mental challenge of recovering from injury

Barry Bannan says he is on course to return against Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup, helped by a week away in Scotland.

The Sheffield Wednesday midfielder has not played since December 29, when he came off with a hamstring injury at Port Vale. It followed an injury at Exter City on December 10.

He is closing in on a return to the side next week and says a mental break was as important as his physical work.

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Writing in the programme for the Owls' League One game against Fleetwood Town, he said: "I had a week away to rest. I went up to Scotland and that helped me mentally because the second time being out injured in a short period of time was annoying.

INJURY: Sheffield Wednesday captain Barry BannanINJURY: Sheffield Wednesday captain Barry Bannan
INJURY: Sheffield Wednesday captain Barry Bannan

"I've since done a week in the gym and now I'm back outside so it's not so bad.

"I don't really like the gym to be honest so I'm quite lucky that both times I've been quick to get out on the grass.

"The two games against Fleetwood and Port Vale (the last two he played) were in a short space of time and maybe that didn't help, looking back.

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"I wanted to play, when I'm fit I want to play. I felt fine going into it and if you feel alright it's hard to say, 'I don't want to go out there and play.'

"How can you go to our manager and physios and say, 'I don't think I should play?' You would never do that if your body felt fine."

Bannan is now close to a return, although he admitted frozen pitches have disrupted his work this week. The Owls were able to take advantage of the undersoil heating at Hillsborough to train there on Friday.

"I am nearly back now," he said. "I've taken a bit longer this time so hopefully once I'm back, I'm back for the rest of the season.

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"When I first did the injury I was aiming for the Barnsley game to come back which has now been moved and we've got Fleetwood in the Cup instead. Because I'm ticking all the boxes and have no issues I think that will still be the day where I will hopefully look to play some point."