Sheffield Wednesday may have edged closer to seeing their top goalscorer return from injury after an encouraging update was dished out by Owls boss Garry Monk on Thursday afternoon.
The south Yorkshiremen have been without the services of 12-goal frontman Steven Fletcher since he was stretchered off against Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup last month.
Initial fears suggested that the 32-year-old would be absent for eight to ten weeks, but that timeframe could be less than first thought following Monk’s latest comments.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference, the Wednesday chief provided an eight-word update on his progress, he said:
GM has revealed Steven Fletcher is ahead of schedule with his knee injury. Says Fletcher could be back in early March.
"He is doing very well with his rehab," said GM. #SWFC
— Dom Howson (@domhowson) February 6, 2020
This comes as a major boost to their season prospects as they have suffered without him since he picked up that nasty-looking knee injury down on the south coast.
Monk has made measures to bolster his side with key attacking additions in the January transfer window as Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham and Parma forward Alessio Da Cruz have joined on loan.
But they have big boots to fill and can’t be entirely relied on to repeat Fletcher’s exploits this campaign.
With him due back potentially earlier than expected, the Owls could make a late run at the playoffs, having slipped out of them recently.
The south Yorkshiremen currently sit seven points adrift from Bristol City in sixth place, so there’s a fair amount of ground to cover but the return of their top scorer will undeniably aid their chances.