Sheffield Wednesday: Owls hit by defence double blow

Kamil Zayatte takes to the air to beat Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak
Kamil Zayatte takes to the air to beat Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak
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Wednesday have suffered a double blow ahead of their televised Yorkshire derby clash with Huddersfield.

Kamil Zayatte is a doubt and Martin Taylor has been ruled out by Dave Jones for six to eight weeks.

Both have suffered ankle damage in behind-closed-doors work since the Owls crashed 3-0 at Derby.

Jones is likely to await a late check on Zayatte before deciding on his line-up.

But if the centre half is out then Miguel Llera looks set to regain the place he lost to Zayatte for the last four games.

With Taylor injured as well, and Anthony Gardner still recovering from a long-term Achilles tendon injury, the club would be down to two senior centre backs: Llera and Roger Johnson, whose loan from Wolves is due to end in January. Jones has yet to rule Zayatte out of Saturday’s game and will hope that his problem is a minor one.

But if it is worse news then the manager may have to consider whether he must try for another centre-half loan signing before next Thursday’s deadline for emergency deals.

Lewis Buxton could provide cover from within, having had previous experience of playing centre half.

The Owls have certainly been looking at ways of tightening up their defending after conceding five goals in the last two games.

Jones has been analysing the below-par display at Derby, which followed the 5-2 victory against Reading.

The club wondered whether players had been affected by some kind of virus, as pre-Derby they trained at the St George’s centre that the England team vacated because of illness concerns.

Jones told The Star: “We’ll never know whether that was a factor. The strange thing was that our running was down. But I’m not making excuses. We looked at other things as well.”

The has been some illness in the camp recently. The squad were given last weekend off and reported back with a clean bill of health.

Former Owls coaches Russ Wilcox and Tony Daws are in temporary charge at Scunthorpe, who play at Portsmouth on Saturday, after the sacking of ex-Wednesday boss Brian Laws.