Tony McMahon could return to action against Colchester on Saturday after Sheffield United manager David Weir explained why the defender had been omitted from the squad which faced Brentford last weekend.
McMahon has been plagued by a series of niggling injuries in recent months, the most recent being the sprained ankle he sustained during a pre-season friendly against York City.
Weir contemplated including McMahon in the team beaten 3-1 at Griffin Park but told The Star: “Tony, through no fault of his own, has been ‘stop start’ pretty much all of the summer. So, with that in mind, we wanted to make sure that he had a good fortnight’s worth of training under his belt before coming back.
“Otherwise, there’s a danger he might have to repeat the process and go through the same thing all over again. That wouldn’t serve a purpose for anyone whatsoever.”
McMahon underwent surgery to correct a long-standing Achilles complaint after exacerbating the problem towards the end of last term.
However, his progress was curtailed when he fell awkwardly during the warm-up fixture at Bootham Crescent.
The former Middlesbrough full-back’s ability to launch attacking moves without compromising United’s defensive capabilities will endear him to a manager determined to play attacking football but concerned by the individual errors which proved so costly in the capital.
“We won’t take risks with fitness,” Weir said. “And that’s why we decided this was the best course of action to take for everyone concerned.”