Sheffield United can expect to be without Max Lowe for the foreseeable future after he went off injured at Hull City yesterday.
The former Derby man was just finding some fine form at left wing-back and was unfortunate to pull up with an injury when busting a gut to chase back and defend. Lowe pulled up with a muscle injury that was obvious at first glance and Paul Heckingbottom has since confirmed it is indeed a hamstring pull for the full-back.
Lowe will definitely miss the Rotherham game this weekend and given how hamstring injuries go, can expect to miss at least the next month or two as well. And with United already having a raft of injuries, there is some concern over who will slot in and cover for Lowe while he’s out.
With that in mind, we’ve looked at how Heckingbottom might look to reshape the left side of defence in the coming weeks.
Bodies Back And Options Available
Hecky alluded to it at the weekend but United need some players back from injury. Coincidentally, a lot of the current injured crop are left footed players. Lowe’s injury adds to a group that already contains John Fleck, Jack Robinson, Enda Stevens, Ciaran Clark and Ben Osborn.
Of those players, Stevens is likely to be the one closest to making a comeback. Heckingbottom confirmed not so long ago that he was back ‘on the grass’ as he likes to put it. Clark, also, shouldn’t be too far off which does give the Blades options.
In an ideal world, United can keep the impressive Rhys Norrington-Davies going as a left centre-back. That would see Stevens return at wing-back. The Irishman is a solid enough option, albeit he isn’t quite the player of a few seasons ago. A return for Clark would see Norrington-Davies go to left wing-back again.
Of course, United could just do what they did at the weekend. Ahmedhodzic shifted across to the left with Chris Basham coming back into the back three, again moving Norrington-Davies out wide. That worked well enough, with Ahmedhodzic still finding himself getting forward from the left.
Certainly, Lowe’s injury isn’t ideal for both player and club. But this is where Sheffield United’s squad depth should really shine through and overall, the Blades should be able to cope.