Blades face anxious defender fitness wait


John Egan is understood to be a major doubt for Sheffield United's home clash with Manchester United on Sunday, after suffering a head injury.

The Blades defender started the Republic of Ireland’s crunch Euro 2020 qualifier with Denmark in Dublin on Monday night, but only lasted until half-time after a sickening clash of heads.

Egan collided with Denmark’s Andreas Cornelius, with the Dane needing strapping around his head while Egan was forced to receive treatment. Cornelius was withdrawn soon after, having also pulled him hamstring, while Egan returned to the fray and looked set to continue.

But the former Brentford and Gillingham man – who has recently been talked about as a possible transfer target for Everton – didn’t appear after the break, being replaced by Newcastle’s Ciaran Clark, leading to fears that he may have suffered concussion.

If tests show that to be the case, Premier League rules are likely to apply – which means he will not be able to face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, as there has to be a seven-day rest period after the incident.

Egan’s absence would be a major setback for Blades boss Chris Wilder, with the 27-year-old having been an ever-present this season and playing a key role in their impressive climb to fifth in the table.

Wilder has stuck with the same defensive trio that served him so well last term – Egan, John O’Connell and Chris Basham – but may have his hand forced this weekend.

The Blades do have two experienced options in reserve, with Phil Jagielka and Richard Stearman among the defensive reinforcements as they look to extend their unbeaten run to six matches.

As long as they avoid defeat at Bramall Lane, Sheffield United will remain ahead of of the visitors – who have lost three of their last four away games in the Premier League.