Sheffield United: Injured stars hoping to make steady progress

PORTSMOUTH V SHEFFIELD UNITED   20.4.13'Pic : Martyn Harrison'Tony McMahon  - Sheffield United  INJURY''� BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

PORTSMOUTH V SHEFFIELD UNITED 20.4.13'Pic : Martyn Harrison'Tony McMahon - Sheffield United INJURY''� BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

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Shaun Miller and Tony McMahon are expected to sit out much of Sheffield United’s pre-season programme despite making progress in their battles to overcome injury.

Miller, the former Crewe Alexandra centre-forward, has been absent since December after undergoing surgery to repair damaged cruciate ligaments.

Despite receiving the all-clear to perform some light fitness routines at Shirecliffe last month, United remain wary about jeopardising his recovery.

“Given the nature of his problem, we don’t want to take any risks with Shaun,” interim manager Chris Morgan said. “The medical lads are pleased with how he’s been coming along but it’s not something you want to rush.

“Obviously, the sooner Shaun is back in action the better it’s going to be for everyone. But it’s still going to be a tall order I’d have thought for him to be ready at the start of the new campaign.”

Morgan, speaking earlier this month, added: “We try and mix his work up a bit to try and make it as interesting as possible. Even something simple like a change of scenery can make all the difference but Shaun has been back with us at Shirecliffe for a while now so that’s good.”

McMahon, previously of Middlesbrough, succumbed to a long-standing Achilles complaint when United visited Portsmouth five weeks ago.

“I went to London to see the specialist again last Wednesday and the good news is I don’t need further injections or to wear a protective boot,” the full-back said.

“The plan now and through the summer is to do plenty of strengthening work but it isn’t going to be a quick fix. It will still be the back end of pre-season when I’m fully fit.

“I played with the initial problem for two or three months. I just keep going until I can’t go any further and that was the case there.”