Sheffield Wednesday: From under the knife to fighting fit for Lewis Price

Lewis Price
Lewis Price

Of all the things a signing expects when he arrives at a new club, being rushed in for emergency surgery is probably not on the list.

But that is the situation in which Lewis Price found himself shortly after joining the Owls this summer.

It was not a bad injury that sent the goalkeeper to the hospital and saw him miss the start of the season, but rather, a burst appendix.

“It was hurting a little bit while we were out in Portugal,” Price said.

“I just carried on because I thought I must have just got a little kick. I just played on.

“I saw the doctor on the Friday before we played St Mirren about one o’clock and by three I was out and under the knife.

“The biggest worry I had was that I was in a hotel at the time and I had to check out the next day and I’d not packed up any of my stuff.

“I was relying on other people to try to help me out.

“It was a little bit frustrating at the time to miss the start of the season but there was nothing I could do about it.”

Price admitted previously he knew he would have a difficult time dislodging Keiren Westwood from the number one slot, a challenge not helped by a visit to the operating table.

But luck can change quickly and a back injury to Westwood has seen Price start the last three games.

He said: “You never wish an injury on a team mate but it’s been nice to get some games in.

“It helps you settle down a bit because you’re in among it.

“I’ve not had a problem settling in here at all.

“There was a lot of talk about the spirit in the squad last season and I think that spirit has stayed.

“I felt comfortable within the first couple of days being here.

“It’s a testament to all the lads who are here.

“When you’ve got a squad like that it makes things a lot easier to start gelling when you’re playing.

“It’s always hard if it takes people time to settle down and find their feet.”

Settling in for Price has been made easier by the presence at Wednesday of goalkeeping coach Andy Rhodes.

The pair worked together previously at Ipswich Town and Price is full of praise for his mentor.

The 31-year-old said: “He’s a great guy, he makes training fun, he’s a bubbly personality.

“You need that, especially as a goalkeeper because it can be a lonely old position.

“I just think he’s got so much experience from his playing days and a coach. That’s what makes him such a good coach.

“He’s a great person. He’s the type of guy you can sit down with, have a chat to. He’s not unapproachable or prickly.

“I think that’s why he has so much success and everyone rants and raves about him.”

Someone else the keeper enthuses about is young Owls keeper Joe Wildsmith, who stepped into the breach to play against Mansfield Town while Price was injured.

“Joe is a great kid,” he said.

“He’s got his head screwed on, he trains hard. He’s down to earth.

“He’s got a very good future ahead of him.

“Cameron Dawson as well,

“Joe’s getting all the attention because he’s playing but both are good kids.

“They’re a couple of good goalkeepers coming through and that’s very positive for the club.”

The international break follows the Owls’ clash with Middlesbrough on Saturday and Price admits it would be good to sign off with a win.

“It’d be nice to finish a busy month on a high,” he said.

“Middlesbrough, if they’re not pushing for the top two you’d imagine they’d be in the play-offs.

“I think it’d be a failure for their season otherwise.

“We know we can’t go too gung ho and get carried away but it’d be nice to finish on a high.”

Wednesday have failed to win in their last three league matches.

Yet Price does not believe they need to beat Boro tomorrow for their start to the campaign to have been a good one.

He said: “It’s still early on and a bit early to get down and say we’ve had a bad start.

“It would be the same if we beat Middlesbrough and suddenly thought we’d be in the top six.

“You have to take each game on merit and I think we’ve had a steady start.

“The draw against Reading was against a team who came to sit and play for a draw, and I think that’s all they’ve done.

“And I think you’d take a draw away at Leeds if you’re being honest.

“I don’t think it’s too bad if we lose. It wouldn’t be panic signs.

“But we won’t be getting carried away by it if we win either.”

Price looks set to retain his starting shirt against Middlesbrough with head coach Carlos Carvalhal confirming Westwood will remain on the sidelines at least until after the international break.

Lucas Joao is expected to return to the squad after recovering from a leg injury while Glenn Loovens will be assessed today.

New signing Michael Turner could make his debut after arriving on a season-long loan from Norwich City.

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