Sheffield United: Brayford could be back soon

John Brayford could be available for selection soon � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
John Brayford could be available for selection soon � copyright : Blades Sports Photography

Sheffield United defender John Brayford has scored a major victory in his battle for fitness, manager Nigel Adkins has revealed.

Brayford, who has not made a competitive appearance since damaging a knee during last season’s play-off semi-finals, completed a training session at the Steelphat Academy earlier today after being given the all-clear following another injury scare earlier this month.

Adkins said: “We’ll be looking to get another couple of weeks with John out there and, as before, some run-outs with the under-21’s. But the positive thing is that he’s back on the training ground now and that’s great to see.”

Although Brayford will not be available for selection at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday, Adkins added: “We had well over 20 outfield players involved in the session. Some of those coming back are at different stages to others but they are moving in the right direction which is good.

“That’s the big thing, up until now we’ve usually had the eleven that starts and then the seven subs ready. It’s been very rare that I’ve left someone in the stands who was okay. We’ve been wanting to have a consistency in terms of how we play and selection all the way through but, for one reason or another, every week we seem to have been having to change things. We are working hard to make sure that situation improves.”

Jim Phipps, United’s co-chairman, insisted Bramall Lane’s first team squad would eventually have to be cut in a personal statement, published on Facebook, earlier this week.

Adkins, who acknowledged as much before last Saturday’s defeat by Millwall, said: “From the business side of it, it must be dealt with properly, privately and in-house. That’s what we’ll do. But, yes, it’s clear that, when everybody is fit and available, there will be too many bodies as I’ve been clear about all along.”