Speed won't rush Bartley back

Defender will make decision on his fitness

Bartley: Recovering well

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Sheffield United boss Gary Speed will leave it up to Kyle Bartley to decide when he is ready to return to first-team action.

The on-loan Arsenal defender suffered a fractured cheekbone against Nottingham Forest last month and has recently undergone surgery on the injury.

Bartley has been pushing to make a return to action, but Speed will not put any pressure on the defender to rush back.

"Kyle has had his operation and that seemed to go well but they've not been able to fit a mask yet because the swelling around there is still too great," Speed told the South Yorkshire Star.

"It's tailor-made so it does the job perfectly. It has to be tight and so we'll have to wait a while for that. Even so we'll leave it up to Kyle to decide when he can play again.

"Because of the demands of his position, where there's a lot of contact and heading the ball, he has to be confident in his own mind that everything is okay."