Sheffield United: Striker receives the green light ahead of Oxford United clash

James Hanson (left) is expected to feature against Oxford United tomorrow night: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
James Hanson (left) is expected to feature against Oxford United tomorrow night: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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James Hanson has received the all-clear to face Oxford tomorrow night, after declaring himself fit following an injury scare.

The Sheffield United centre-forward was withdrawn during the second-half of last weekend’s game against Rochdale after turning an ankle. But, after being assessed by the League One leaders’ medical staff, is now expected to feature at the Kassam Stadium.

“There’s no issues, we’ve got a clean bill of health after the weekend,” Alan Knill, United’s assistant manager, said. “We’re thankful for that after a tough game on a tough pitch. There’s no issues with James. He was in for treatment yesterday but he was training this morning.”

United saw their lead over second-place cut to five points after being held to a draw at the Crown Oil Arena but, following Scunthorpe’s defeat by Fleetwood Town, moved eight points clear of third with 11 matches remaining.

Speaking after the meeting with Keith Hill’s side, manager Chris Wilder revealed Hanson had wanted to finish Saturday’s game but had been substituted because “I just couldn’t take the risk” given the state of the playing surface. Four days earlier, Rochdale had been forced to postpone their fixture with Port Vale after heavy downpours in the North-West.

“When you looked at it, the pitch looked okay,” Knill, speaking at United’s pre-match media conference this lunchtime, said. “But when you stepped on it, it was sodden. It makes it difficult for the way we want to play but, no excuses, it’s the same for both teams and I think Rochdale were excellent on the day. It was disappointing because we were up twice but, do you know what, sometimes you’ve just got to say well done to the opposition.”