Centre-back Tom Lees is likely to miss out again when Sheffield Wednesday take on play-off rivals Norwich City this weekend.
Lees has been sidelined for the Owls’ last six Championship fixtures because of a knee problem.
Although The Star understands the 26-year-old is progressing well from his injury and edging nearer to a first-team return, Saturday’s clash at Hillsborough with eighth-placed Norwich will probably come too soon for Lees.
Defensively Wednesday have sorely missed Lees’ calmness and astute positional sense as Carlos Carvalhal’s team have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last four matches.
Without Lees, the Owls have won four and lost two.
Vincent Sasso has deputised for Lees but the Frenchman, who claimed a double in their home victory over Blackburn Rovers last month, has been at fault for the goals shipped in on the road against Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.
Lees has been a first-team regular since joining the Championship club in July 2014. He has made 119 appearances in all competitions, including 28 this season.
The sooner Lees recovers from his injury the better as Wednesday aim to put more distance between themselves and the chasing pack. Only two places and six points separate the Owls and Norwich in the table.
Three of Wednesday’s four matches in March will be staged at Hillsborough, starting against the Canaries.
Carvalhal said: “March is a crucial month in the season. It will decide nothing for us or other teams but it will be very important. If we have a good month, we can achieve a good position.”