James Wallace will reap the benefits of his stay at St George’s Park, Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough insisted last night, after predicting the midfielder could return to action next month.
Wallace has been plagued by injury since arriving from Tranmere Rovers eight months, missing 32 of the League One club’s 45 matches so far this term.
Clough confirmed Wallace is completing the next phase of his recovery from a muscular problem at the Football Association’s national football centre near Burton-upon-Trent and told The Star: “The facilities available there are superb and he’ll continue doing the work he’s been undergoing here.
“The equipment is the biggest thing, it’s absolutely state-of-the-art and even the Premier League clubs send their players to use what’s on offer. Unless you are at the very top end of that division then, the chances are, you won’t actually have it on site.”
“The PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) actually provide the service. Every player gets two weeks, I think, there if they are injured so it’s an excellent scheme.
“I’m sure even the change of scenery will do James the world of good. Sometimes you need that.”
United, who visit Rochdale this evening, made a similar investment in Terry Kennedy’s future during the close season. The young defender, having initially seen his progress stifled by a long-standing knee injury, has rewarded their faith by delivering a series of commanding displays in recent weeks.
“James, like Terry, is worth putting that time in for,” Clough said. “We’d do it for every single player but they’ve been good professionals and so there’s an obligation there from us. Look how well Terry has done and James, as we know, is a quality player.
“He’s running and so hopefully he’ll be back by the end of March.”