Date: 6th October 2006 at 1:32pm
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Owls defender Richard Wood is set to return to first-team training next week, with fellow defender John Hills also set to leave the treatment room before the Barnsley match.

The 21-year-old hasn’t featured for Wednesday since picking up a groin injury the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace back in February – but is set to make the first step back to full fitness next week.

The Wakefield-born defender came on leaps and bounds last season alongside Graham Coughlan in the heart of the Owls defence and will be a welcome boost to boss Paul Sturrock’s playing squad as they look to kick-start their season.

Wood is unlikely to make the squad for the Owls derby clash with Barnsley next weekend but could feature in the Owls reserve team match against Leeds United on October 18th.

Meanwhile, former Gillingham defender John Hills will also return to first team training next week after suffering a calf injury – and could return to be part of Sturrock’s squad to face the Owls’ South Yorkshire rivals next Saturday.

The double boost will mean that only former Leicester City and Plymouth Argyle defender Peter Gilbert will be in the Wednesday treatment room – a start contrast the start of the current Owls campaign.

Sturrock told the official SWFC site: ‘By Monday we will only have one player who isn’t training but it’s important to understand there will be variances in fitness in several of them. Woody and Hillsy have just come back. Corr, Adams, Small, Talbot, Folly and MacLean are still getting up to full speed.’

Gilbert has spent the week helping his recovery from rupturing his cruciate knee ligament back in March at Lilleshall and the Owls are awaiting the go-ahead to include the left-back in first team training.

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