Sheffield Wednesday: Melo faces lengthy lay-off after knee op

Filipe Melo
Filipe Melo

Forgotten man Filipe Melo is likely to miss the rest of the season after under-going knee surgery, The Star understands.

The defensive midfielder, recruited from Portugese side Moreirenses on transfer deadline day for an undisclosed fee last February, went under the knife in London last week and faces a lengthy lay-off.

Melo’s last outing came in the development squad’s 2-0 home defeat to Birmingham City on October 26 when he was forced off after 50 minutes and replaced by highly-regarded youngster Connor Kirby.

Injury problems have plagued Melo throughout his spell at Hillsborough. The 26-year-old featured just six times last season, starting on four occasions at the back end of the campaign.

Melo, who started his career with Uniao Lamas before also enjoying spells at Beira-Mar, Avanca, Eapinho, Arouca and Naval, initially struggled to adapt to English football but impressed in fixtures against Norwich City and Brentford.

Melo, who captained Moreirense to the Portugese top tier in the 2013/14 season, has not been in a single match-day squad this term.

It is another big injury blow for Wednesday, who are hoping Jack Hunt and Barry Bannan will shake off their respective knee problems before welcoming Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town to Hillsborough.

Head coach Carlos Carvalhal will have to make one enforced change to his midfield when they take on Huddersfield as Sam Hutchinson will serve the first of his two-match suspension for accruing 10 yellow cards. It is Hutchinson’s second ban - he missed the Fulham victory in September - but Carvalhal does not want him to alter his combative style of play.

“If you have an aggressive player and you tell him to stop being aggressive, he’s not he same player so you can’t change these kind of things,” he said.

“Of course, we try to control him and talk to him but, at the same time, we don’t want to lose that energy he gives us in midfield.”

In Hutchinson’s absence, Jose Semedo is in pole position to take over the anchoring midfield role but Alex Lopez and Lewis McGugan will also be pressing hard for first-team recalls.

The Owls remain optimistic Keiren Westwood will be ready to face Huddersfield despite the goalkeeper withdrawing from the Republic of Ireland’s squad on Wednesday because of an ankle problem. He was back in South Yorkshire receiving treatment yesterday.

For our Owls news and opinion on twitter follow here

For more news from Hillsborough click here

Follow Dom Howson on twitter