There is some mixed injury news for Sheffield United ahead of their trip to West Bromwich Albion.
The good news is that Paul Coutts played 90 minutes for the Under-23s on Tuesday night against Sheffield Wednesday.
Coutts has been feeling his way back to full fitness this season after a year out with a broken leg. So far the midfielder has managed just 12 Championship appearances.
However, playing the entire game against the Owls will help to show manager Chris Wilder he can be relied upon.
This could be timely as the Blades play the first of their final 13 league games at West Brom on Saturday. With things so tight at the top of the table, Wilder will need as many players as possible to call upon.
Especially as Oliver Norwood is only one booking away from suspension. Coutts could still have a crucial role to play.
Unfortunately one player limped out of the development match with Wednesday – Conor Washington. The Sheffield Star reports that the reason Washington was forced off is because of a hamstring injury.
The forward is now a major doubt for this weekend’s match at the Hawthorns. Although he was unlikely to start, having the option of Washington would still have been useful.
Luckily for Wilder he does have four other strikers. Captain Billy Sharp has been in fine form this season, top scoring for United with 22 league goals.
David McGoldrick has also netted 11 times in England’s second tier to earn himself a new contract.
Neither started the Blades’ last outing, though (a 4-0 victory over Reading) with January signings Gary Madine and Scott Hogan preferred. Madine scored his first two goals for the club while Hogan also looked lively.
United will also welcome Chris Basham back from suspension against the Baggies. Both George Baldock and Jack O’Connell are expected to be available following injury as well.