Sheffield Wednesday defence is hit by double trouble - and Coke adds to injury problems

Rob Jones

Rob Jones

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Sheffield Wednesday are having pre-season injury worries to two of their first choice back four.

Centre-half Rob Jones and utility defender Lewis Buxton, who made the left-back berth his own with some impressive performances late last season, are both doubts for Saturday’s friendly match at Worksop Town.

Jones, aged 31, who signed a two-year deal in May with Wednesday after spell on loan from Scunthorpe United, missed Tuesday evening’s game against Russian Premier League club FC Volga in Austria. He is the more likely of the two to play .

Originally Jones was scratched from the Owls line-up with what the club reported as a leg strain. However, the problem was later clarified as a neck-muscle spasm.

It is widely believed that Jones will be offered the captain’s armband by manager Gary Megson when fully fit, although he has often suffered injury problems at previous clubs. Mark Beevers skippered the team in his absence and led Wednesday to a clean sheet in a goalless draw against a Volga team who are midway through their season.

Reda Johnson partnered Beevers at the heart of the Wednesday defence.

Buxton’s injury, too, isn’t thought to be serious. But it meant he missed the week away in the Austrian mountains and he will be behind the rest of the squad in terms of fitness no matter how hard he has worked at the club’s Middlewood Road training ground with the physiotherapy staff.

Another worry for Megson is a knee problem for midfielder Giles Coke. The 25-year-old, who was signed in July 2010 from Motherwell, has yet to have the injury fully diagnosed but it was enough for him to play no part in the Volga match.