Sheffield United could once again be without key striker Oli McBurnie for this weekend’s clash with Stoke City, according to The Star.
McBurnie has only featured sporadically since football resumed after the World Cup break. After undergoing a successful hernia operation, McBurnie was also hindered by an ankle injury picked up against Rotherham.
But despite Paul Heckingbottom claiming United’s number nine was ‘close’ to being back for the win at QPR, there’s still been no sign of the big striker. And The Star is claiming today that McBurnie is still a doubt for this weekend.
It means Heckingbottom will once again have to choose between Billy Sharp or Daniel Jebbison to partner Iliman Ndiaye at the top of the pitch. Sharp, 37, has been doing his best and scored against Wigan and Huddersfield recently.
Jebbison, meanwhile, got himself off the mark for the season at Millwall in the FA Cup. The young striker was impressive throughout, and will be hoping for more minutes now Reda Khadra has gone back too.
McBurnie’s loss, meanwhile, remains an issue for United. The £20m man has scored nine times this season and was in fine fettle before the break. Blades fans – and Heckingbottom – will be hoping he returns sooner, rather than later.
Sheff U News View: McBurnie injury becoming more concerning
We all know Hecky doesn’t like to give much away. But the fact he thought McBurnie was close to a comeback and then we’ve not seen him at all – even on the bench – seems odd.
It does strike us as if something more serious has gone on. McBurnie hasn’t even been on the weekly training videos the club provides, which suggests he’s not as close as Heckingbottom might hope.
For the club, it’s imperative McBurnie comes back soon. With the likes of Rhian Brewster also out and no new signing yet for Khadra, McBurnie will be more important than ever. Hopefully, then, the club is just being cautious, and United’s number nine will be back in action soon.