Sheffield Wednesday: Strike ace Gary poised for swift Owls return

Gary Hooper
Gary Hooper
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Gary Hooper could be set for a quick return to action as Sheffield Wednesday look to put their Bristol City nightmare behind them.

The striker was a notable absentee as Carlos Carvalhal’s side succumbed to a 4-1 loss at Ashton Gate last weekend. It was their biggest defeat under Carvalhal’s leadership.

Hooper, snapped up on a permanent basis from Norwich City in January following a productive loan spell at Hillsborough, played no part in their Robins drubbing, having failed to shrug off a foot problem.

The 11-goal forward, formerly of Celtic and Scunthorpe United, sustained the injury in last Tuesday’s hard-earned victory over Blackburn Rovers.

Head coach Carvalhal told The Star: “We will see in the next few days with Gary.

“We expected that Gary would recover but he didn’t.

“I think he will start training in the next few days. It was a kick and he just feels pain. He hasn’t broken anything. It is just a question of time. I think he will be okay.”

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Atdhe Nuhiu replaced Hooper in attack and was one of six changes.

Michael Turner deputised for club captain Glenn Loovens at centre-back. Dutch defender Loovens was sorely missed as Wednesday shipped in three goals before half-time versus Lee Johnson’s team.

Carvalhal is unsure whether Loovens will be fit for Saturday’s crunch clash with Ipswich Town.

“I think it will be easier for Gary to recover than Glenn,” he said. “Glenn is a little more serious but he has talked with me and he has some expectations to start training this week.

“Let’s wait and see.”

Republic of Ireland international Keiren Westwood is expected to be available for selection again, having pulled out of the starting line-up against the Robins because of illness. Academy starlet Joe Wildsmith filled in in between the sticks.

Carvalhal said: “In the warm up, Keiren felt very bad and was vomiting so he couldn’t play.

“We had to make some changes to our first 11 which we didn’t expect but that’s part and parcel of football.

Meanwhile, Wednesday have sold-out their ticket allocation for their trip to play-off rivals Derby County on Saturday, April 23. The Owls will be roared on by 3,080 fans for the televised clash, which gets underway at 12.30pm at The iPro Stadium.

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