O’Grady targets return against Exeter

Chris O'Grady
Chris O'Grady

Chris O’Grady was last night in the running for a surprise Sheffield Wednesday comeback this weekend.

O’Grady’s surge into contention balances out a possible setback as the Telegraph can also reveal today that latest forward signing David McGoldrick is fighting to be fit for the visit of second-bottom Exeter.

McGoldrick, on loan from Nottingham Forest, suffered “a knock at the base of his spine” during his scoring debut in the 3-2 win at Yeovil, manager Gary Megson disclosed.

But Megson also confirmed that O’Grady will be in the frame if he completes a full week’s training to cement his recovery from the niggly foot injury that has restricted him to one appearance since his £350,000 move from Rochdale. “Chris might be involved,” said the Owls boss. “Hopefully there will be no reaction to training and we’ll see how he looks.”

Otherwise, there would have been more fall-out from Clinton Morrison’s exclusion from the squad last weekend and the likelihood that he had played his last game for the club.

But, with Morrison’s proposed loan move to MK Dons deadlocked over wages, Megson insists: “Clinton’s still a Wednesday player.”

There would have been a strong case for deploying him on Saturday if Wednesday were left with only one fit striker - seven goal Gary Madine - because of McGoldrick’s injury. However, that potentially awkward scenario - albeit that the situation has been conducted respectfully - seems to have been averted. “Ryan Lowe is getting closer as well,” says Megson as his other recent recruit nears a return to training. Megson will take every precaution with O’Grady, having admitted their earlier mutual haste backfired, but his cautious optimism suggests the injury has been beaten.

McGoldrick was “very sore” in midweek but could still be involved. His loan from Nottingham Forest stood out as a cut above much of Wednesday’s other recruitment levels recently.

“David became available and he’s a worthwhile addition,” said the manager who is also making a late check on skipper Rob Jones, an old-style centre half for whom painful knocks are just part of the game. Rob hasn’t fractured his cheekbone but he has broken his nose - again,” added Megson. “That seems to be a permanent state. He doesn’t really see danger and never pulls out of anything. But you accept that because it is a plus rather than a negative. It’ll be a late call on Rob but we’re hopeful.”

Megson could make a change in goal with experienced loan signing Stephen Bywater likely to edge out Richard O’Donnell. “Wait and see,” said the Owls boss, who needed to subsidise the youth of O’Donnell and Arron Jameson in Nicky Weaver’s absence. “We’ve got two younger ones learning their trade and this is not the sort of club where you can afford to do that.”