Date: 3rd August 2006 at 2:34pm
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Owls boss Paul Sturrock has been dealt another cruel blow as the Championship opener against PNE gets closer with the news that striker Deon Burton will be sidelined for three weeks.

The former Derby striker has picked up a hamstring strain leaving the Owls boss with just one fit striker to take to Deepdale for the season opener on Saturday.

Sturrock told the official SWFC site: ‘Deon’s had a tightness but we had the scan as a precaution and it is a tear. It’s knocked us back and Steven’s toothache means we train on Thursday with no fit centre forwards.’

The news means for Rangers man Steve Maclean will be the only fit striker on the coach to Lancashire at the weekend. Marcus Tudgay is likely to be out for another two months after picking up a freak injury pre-season. Youngsters Drew Talbot and Barry Corr are also on the treatment table.

Sturrock may be forced to opt for the 4-4-1-1 formation used in the first half of the pre-season friendly with Middlesbrough, with new boy Kenny Lunt playing just behind the sole striker. Lee Bullen will also give the Owls boss another option in attack.

Burton’s injury comes just a week after the Owls let former Wigan hitman David Graham go on loan to League Two side Bradford City to fund the wages of a new number one at Hillsborough.