It might have been a memorable night at Bramall Lane as Sheffield United beat Middlesbrough in midweek but the injury problems at the club are still there in all their glory.
The Blades are without a number of first-team players at the moment, with long-term injuries robbing the club of stars like Rhian Brewster, Jayden Bogle, and David McGoldrick. George Baldock has also missed out recently, while Chris Basham is another player struggling for fitness.
It had been hoped that Basham’s injury was nothing serious. Indeed, Paul Heckingbottom had played things down a tad in recent weeks, offering up hope that Basham could indeed be back sooner than expected.
But speaking ahead of the Coventry City clash this weekend, the Blades manager has admitted he was bluffing a tad and that Basham is indeed a more long-term injury problem for the club.
“No, he was always going to be a longer one. He won’t be back before the international break,” Hecky told his pre-match presser.
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“We knew about it but we had some big games coming up. Coincide that with right wing-back problems, if we’re making it apparent all our right side is down, then we’re not preparing or giving ourselves the best chance. We wanted to make sure we played it down a bit. But it’s obvious now, he’s going to be a few more weeks.”
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Heckingbottom touched on this in his presser but you do have to give credit to the players stepping up to the plate with so many injuries. Ben Davies has done outstandingly well in the last two games, while Ben Osborn has filled in well at wing-back.
That’s a testament to this current squad really and the belief and desire they have. In terms of Davies in particular, he has been excellent. We all knew we were getting a quality defender but those little injury niggles have kept him out and we are now seeing the best of him.
Despite being left-footed, he’s slotted in with ease at right centre-back. Really, it’s now his place to lose, even if balance in the XI does become a factor when players do start coming back.