Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck set for spell on sidelines

Sheffield United have been dealt an injury blow with the news that John Fleck will miss between four and six weeks with a back issue.

The Scottish midfielder’s problem is the latest in a growing list of injuries for the Blades.

Defender Jack O’Connell is likely to miss the remainder of the campaign after undergoing knee surgery, while striker Lys Mousset (toe) has yet to play this season.

Forward Oliver Burke was only fit enough for the bench against Fulham due to a knock and left-back Max Lowe’s Premier League debut was cut short on Sunday after he suffered a concussion after just 20 minutes.

Blades boss Chris Wilder said: “John was down to play, it’s another unfortunate injury. He suffered one of those injuries you don’t get 99 times out of 100.

“Speaking to the medical people, how unfortunate he was to land on such a small place on his back to do the damage that he has done is so unlucky.

“It will be four to six weeks and it’s another blow that we have to take on the chin.”

On Lowe’s knock to the head, Wilder said: “He’s got concussion, he took a nasty whack and got blurred vision, which is desperately unfortunate for us following on from Fleck, Mousset and O’Connell.

“We are being tested a little bit and can do without that. Max has been fabulous.”

Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane saw both the Blades and Fulham get off the mark in the Premier League this season, having each lost their first four games of the campaign.

The hosts dominated the first half but were made to pay for failing to take their chances when Ademola Lookman put Fulham in front after 77 minutes.

The goal came 20 minutes after Aleksandar Mitrovic had missed a penalty for the Cottagers, and it would be a spot-kick at the other end, converted with some aplomb by Billy Sharp five minutes from time, that earned Wilder’s side a draw.

Fulham boss Scott Parker believes his team are showing signs of heading in the right direction.

He said: “I thought in the second half we were exceptional. In the second half, I saw a dynamic team, a team that could create chances and I was pleased overall in that sense.

“There is still plenty of learning and plenty of improvement to do – a young team with young players coming in and making their debuts.

“The team is going in the right direction, not just today. The last performance (at Wolves) as well was very pleasing. From where we were in the first three games where we had our struggles we appear to be coming out of that and pushing in the right direction.”

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