Sheffield United suffer Egan blow as injuries mount

·2-min read
Premier League - Chelsea v Sheffield United

(Reuters) - Sheffield United defender John Egan will be sidelined for eight weeks after dislocating his toe, manager Chris Wilder said on Friday.

Egan was injured when he attempted to block a shot in Monday's 3-0 Premier League loss at West Ham United and had to be carried off on a stretcher.

"John Egan is going to be out for eight weeks. He needs an operation on a dislocated toe," Wilder told reporters ahead of Saturday's league match at Fulham.

"It's a situation where John has gone to block a shot and when we saw the reaction of a committed, brave player, straightaway we all knew he was in trouble.

"It's a big blow to lose him for eight weeks. I do feel we've been cursed with injuries. We've had big injuries that have hurt us."

Injured midfielders John Fleck and Sander Berge are no closer to returning but defender Jack O'Connell has resumed training after recovering from a knee injury.

"He's back training on the grass," Wilder added. "We're hoping he can step up his return to training and playing in the next couple of weeks."

The Blades are bottom of the standings having been in the relegation zone since the start of the season and look destined for the drop as they sit 14 points from the safety zone.

Wilder said he hoped to keep the squad intact so they could fight for promotion again if they got relegated.

"Keep our players and go again, that's what I want to do," Wilder said. "Keep everybody and if we go down, they've got the attitude, ability, drive and desire to go again and try and have a successful season."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)