“I think it’s going to be difficult at the beginning because of the injuries,” Tony Pulis told BBC Radio Sheffield at his first press conference as Wednesday manager on Monday.
The absences of Aden Flint – who underwent hamstring surgery earlier this month – and Chey Dunkley – who is recovering from the broken leg he suffered in February – are already common knowledge.
But Pulis suggested the Owls could be without as many as “four or five good players”, adding: “unfortunately we’re going to have to put up with that for a bit”.
He also described the situation as “very concerning, very worrying”, but refused to disclose the identities of any more missing men.
Discussing Wednesday’s striking options, Pulis did however imply that Jack Marriott could be one of them – revealing that only Jordan Rhodes and Josh Windass trained with the team on Monday (although Elias Kachunga was also involved at Middlewood Road, as per footage shared by Owls media channel).
Marriott could not be clearly seen on said footage and the same can be said of Dominic Iorfa and Joost van Aken – unless our eyes deceive us.
Of those, Iorfa would be – arguably – the biggest loss for Wednesday. The 25-year-old was voted the Owls’ player of last season and has already missed a chunk of the current campaign – in which his teammates won just one and lost three out of five games, keeping a solitary clean sheet.
Losing Iorfa and Van Aken on top of Flint and Dunkley would leave Tom Lees and Julian Borner as Wednesday’s only fit senior centre-halves.
Liam Palmer and Callum Paterson also missed Pulis’s first session due to their international commitments and are not sue to return until Thursday.