Caolan Lavery will not make his Sheffield United debut against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, Chris Wilder has revealed.
Lavery moved to Bramall Lane after leaving arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday last month but must wait until next weekend’s meeting with Peterborough before playing his first game for the League One club.
Having spent the summer searching for a new team, Wilder insisted Lavery completed a condensed ‘pre-season’ fitness programme following his decision to sign the former Northern Ireland under-21 international.
“The only one who will miss out (at Wimbledon) is Lavery,” Wilder said earlier today. “He’s been working extremely hard and will play on Tuesday for the under-23’s. Hopefully he’ll come through that okay and then be ready for the Saturday.”
Lavery, aged 23, made nearly 40 appearances for Wednesday during a four year spell at Hillsborough. Despite impressing on loan at Portsmouth last term, he has not played a senior competitive fixture since January.
“The timing is important,” Wilder, the United manager, continued. “He won’t be 100 per cent when he steps out there but we need him to be close to it. We don’t want him injuring himself and taking a step back. He’s got the enthusiasm of any young player and we’re both of a similar view; that we can’t wait to see him get going.
“He’s impressed the lads with his attitude and enthusiasm. We’re sure he’ll be a real asset to this football club.”
Wilder also used United’s pre-match press conference to confirm Stefan Scougall and Leon Clarke have both returned to training ahead of the visit to Kingsmeadow. Harry Chapman is available for selection after missing the win over Gillingham. The winger, on loan from Middlesbrough, was on international duty with England’s under-20’s.
“Scouggs has trained all week and Leon has trained towards the back end,” Wilder said. “Harry is back with us now too. We’ve got a few bumps and bruises and a few lads who have sat out a day but, by the time we name out squad, we expect a full compliment to choose from.”