Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has confirmed that centre-back Chris Basham is very unlikely to face Liverpool at Bramall Lane next Sunday.
The 32-year-old injured his hamstring just after half-time in the 1-0 defeat to Fulham on Saturday, and Wilder is pessimistic about the defender’s chances of returning anytime soon:
“Basham has done his hamstring, the fittest kid in the club by a million miles. Top professional, looks after his body. Played how many games over the last three or four years and does his hamstring. The record that we have had is ridiculous. I think there are only two or three players who haven’t had injuries this season, which is just incredible.”
“We’ve conditioned the players in a manner over two or three years where they are tough, hardened and don’t really pick up soft tissue injuries. Bash has over-stretched and it’s really disappointing to see him come off the pitch. We will wait and see, but I would be very surprised if he was available next week.”
The Blades could be without their three main centre-backs for the game against the Premier League champions. It was confirmed before the loss to Fulham that John Egan needed an operation on a broken toe, which will keep him out for two months. Jack O’Connell, meanwhile, has been sidelined for most of the season with a knee injury.
Although United’s injury problems are not as severe as Liverpool’s (who currently have seven players on the treatment table), Wilder has been missing some key men.
As well as Basham, Egan and O’Connell, influential midfielder Sander Berge has been unavailable since December, while utility player Jack Robinson has also been out for a number of weeks.