Top defender Tom Lees is unlikely to be involved when Sheffield Wednesday go to mid-table Aston Villa tomorrow looking to boost their promotion bid.
It has been a frustrating period for Lees, who has not featured since the Owls’ entertaining draw at Bristol City at the end of January due to a knee problem.
Although he has sat-out the last eight fixtures, Lees is edging closer to a first-team return after resuming light training this week.
But head coach Carlos Carvalhal believes Saturday’s trip to Villa Park will “probably” come too soon for the centre-back.
“He’s not 100 per cent yet,” he insisted.
Carvalhal refused to blame his defence for Burton Albion’s first half equaliser in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Hillsborough. Jackson Irvine lashed in a stunning volley near the edge of the penalty area to cancel out Ross Wallace’s 16th minute opener.
He said: “We train very hard on set pieces and on second balls but it was a fantastic goal. It was something we couldn’t do much about.”
Without Lees, Wednesday have accrued an impressive 16 points out of a possible 24 as they look to secure a top-six finish.
The Owls are currently five points clear of seventh-placed Fulham, who travel to table-topping Newcastle United this weekend.
Carvalhal will be hoping midfielder Sam Hutchinson (knee) and winger Callum McManaman (groin) are passed fit for selection. David Jones replaced Hutchinson in the centre against Burton put in a strong performance. Carvalhal felt Wednesday could have done with West Bromwich Albion loanee McManaman’s creativity on Tuesday.