Sheffield United’s James Wallace unlikely to risked for QPR FA Cup tie as Andy Butler nears exit door

Nigel Clough is unliikely to risk James Wallace at QPR

Nigel Clough is unliikely to risk James Wallace at QPR

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James Wallace is unlikely to be risked for Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has insisted.

But the Blades boss revealed earlier this week that Craig Alcock, who has been missing since the end of November with a back complaint, is back in training and could come into contention to face Harry Redknapp’s Premier League side.

Wallace, who has seen a series of niggling injuries disrupt his progress since arriving at Bramall Lane in the summer, is back in training but Clough warned: “We’ll see how James does this week, but it’s unlikely that he’ll start on Sunday because of how long he’s been out. We don’t want to rush him back and risk another set-back.

“But he’ll be in the 18 and we hope Craig is available too, as he’s also back in training. Ryan Flynn, who did really well in Craig’s absence, also has a chance too.”

Clough will be forced to make changes, however, with centre-half Chris Basham still serving a three-match ban and loanee Paddy McCarthy having returned to parent club Crystal Palace.

Striker Chris O’Grady has also been recalled by Brighton, meaning Marc McNulty will probably start up front.

The United boss, meanwhile, revealed a deal for Andy Butler to join Doncaster Rovers should be completed early in the January transfer window. Clough also hopes to get Stephen McGinn and Neill Collins out on loan, but stressed: “We need to find the right clubs because they’re good lads.”