Wednesday boss Dave Jones has expressed his disappointment but remains upbeat following the news that Michail Antonio will miss the remainder of the season.
The 22-year-old sustained a groin injury last weekend as Wednesday faced Cardiff at Hillsborough and will sit out the remainder of the campaign as a result.
Jones says the aim now is to get Antonio back up and running for the start of pre-season and also believes his absence presents an opportunity for others in the squad to stand up and stake their claim.
He said: “He’s upset but the priority is to get him back up and running again.
“He’ll be back for pre-season and that’s the target. It’s happened, it’s nobody’s fault and we just have to make sure that everything we do is the right thing and we get him fully fit for the start of pre-season.
“Everybody is disappointed and concerned about him as well because he was in a lot of pain but that has subsided now.
“You have to move on and it gives somebody else the opportunity to stake their claim and that’s what it’s all about.”
In the bigger picture, the Owls head into the international break one place and one point above the drop zone but with one game in hand over many of their relegation rivals.
And with two huge games on the horizon after the break – Barnsley at Hillsborough followed by Bristol City two days later at Ashton Gate – Jones has stressed the importance of having the rest of his squad in tip-top shape for the run-in.
He continued: “We’re in a ruthless business and this is somebody else’s chance to get in. Antonio was playing well so players might have thought there is no chance of getting that spot but now there is.
“I’ve always maintained since I walked into this football club that the people on the outside are the most important because they’ve got to keep themselves fit, they’ve got to keep themselves mentally right because you never know when the opportunity will arise.”
Jones added that the option of dipping into the loan market before the deadline at the end of March remains on his radar.
He explained: “We’re looking at the loan market and have been keeping an eye on that all along and we will see if there is someone we can bring in. if there isn’t, then we will go with what we’ve got.
“It’s still early, lots of clubs are looking around because the window closes at the end of March. We are trying, we are looking and we are asking questions.
“We’ll go with what we feel is right, it’s no good getting someone in to bolster the squad, it’s got to be someone who will give us an advantage.”