TEAM NEWS - Pablo Hernandez heads triple boost for Leeds United but major injury blow for Sheffield Wednesday

BACK AVAILABLE: Leeds United's Spanish playmaker Pablo Hernandez. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.BACK AVAILABLE: Leeds United's Spanish playmaker Pablo Hernandez. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.
BACK AVAILABLE: Leeds United's Spanish playmaker Pablo Hernandez. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.
PABLO HERNANDEZ and Jamie Shackleton are back "available" for Leeds United after hamstring injuries while Adam Forshaw is stepping up his return from a hip issue.

But United's weekend visitors Sheffield Wednesday have been rocked by the news that top scorer Steven Fletcher is facing between eight and ten weeks out with a knee problem.

Leeds' Spanish playmaker ace Hernandez was forced off with a hamstring injury in just the third minute of United's 2-1 loss at Fulham four days before Christmas.

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The 34-year-old was thought to be facing a month out but Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa says the Spaniard is now back in training along with 20-year-old midfielder Shackleton who injured his hamstring in the 1-0 victory at home to West Brom on the first day of October.

Shackleton then felt he returned too early as a late substitute in the 1-0 win at Reading at the end of November but the midfielder played for United's under-23s on Sunday and is now back in training at Thorp Arch.

Asked about the injury latest with Hernandez and Shackleton, Bielsa said on Thursday: "Both of them are available and training with the group."

Whites forward Tyler Roberts was also set to return to training this week having felt tightness in his hamstring and subsequently rested for the 1-1 draw at West Brom on New Year's Day.

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Bielsa also said both Luke Ayling and Patrick Bamford were fine after picking up knocks in their recent outings in the FA Cup clash at Arsenal in which Ayling was substituted with 12 minutes to go.

United's head coach has also received a boost with Whites midfielder Forshaw stepping up his recovery from a hip problem and expecting to be back on the grass next week.

Forshaw has not featured for Leeds since coming as a half-time substitute for Jamie Shackleton in the 1-0 loss at Charlton Athletic at the end of September.

United have faced another 17 league games plus the FA Cup clash at Arsenal since with Bielsa regularly asked about updates over Forshaw in his press conferences.

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But the 28-year-old midfielder has been making good progress and is now expected to train on the grass next week.

But United's next opponents Sheffield Wednesday must now do without the services of top scorer Fletcher for up to ten weeks.

The Scotland international was stretchered off with a knee injury during the second half of the Owls' 1-0 triumph at home to Brighton in the FA Cup last weekend.

Owls boss Garry Monk reported: "When you looked at his reaction (to the challenge) and how it was, it looked very serious. He's had the scan and it's good and bad news, really.

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"It looked like it was going to be a really serious one but it has come back and in terms of structurally his knee is fine, but it will be a significant period - roughly eight to ten weeks he will be out.

"It is a blow for us. Losing any player is, especially our top goalscorer in such good form.

"It's bittersweet, really. It's good that it could have been a season-ender, but still a bit of a blow because it is a significant period, eight to ten weeks."