Banned Sheff Utd keeper makes first steps towards training return

Sheffield United keeper Paddy Kenny has returned to full training at Bramall Lane in preparation for the end of his nine-month drugs ban.

Sheffield United keeper Paddy Kenny has returned to full training at Bramall Lane in preparation for the end of his nine-month drugs ban.

The 31 year old failed a drugs test after last season's play-off semi-final win over Preston and although cleared of intentionally cheating after taking cough medicine to combat a chest infection, he was subsequently suspended by the Football Association.

Blades boss Kevin Blackwell said: "It's great to have him back and nice to see him here with a bright, bubbly smile which has lit the place up.

"But the ban hit him hard and it must be a great weight off his shoulders for it to be almost over.

"It hit everybody out of the blue just before the start of this season and I hope that it will be a lesson learned for everyone."

Blackwell, who warned Kenny may not appear in the first team this season, added: "A year is a long time to be out and we'll try and arrange two or three behind-closed-doors games for him just in case we have to call on him. Steve Simonsen is here for a month anyway and we will monitor the situation."

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