Barnsley midfielder Stephen Dawson is hoping to make his first appearance since mid-January in Saturday's South Yorkshire derby at Sheffield Wednesday.

The Irishman sustained ankle ligament damage at Ipswich on January 19 and after being an unused substitute in the Tykes' last two matches is keen to make his comeback against local rivals Wednesday, who lie one place and a point below Barnsley in an intriguing npower Championship relegation battle.

"It's been long, hard and a lot of hours in the gym," Dawson told the club's official website.

"Sedge (head physio Craig Sedgwick) has been absolutely magnificent with me, he's had to put up with a lot of my tantrums with me not being able to do what I've always wanted to do. It's a big part of my life is football and it's been frustrating.

"I've trained the last three weeks and hopefully I can push to make a difference this weekend.

"The job Flicker (Dave Flitcroft), Scotty (Martin Scott) and Micky (Mellon) have done has been brilliant and I just can't wait to get back involved."

Wednesday won 1-0 at Oakwell in December thanks to a solitary goal from Chris O'Grady, now on loan at Barnsley.

Dawson added: "Personally I think we owe them, because we should have won back at Oakwell, that match pretty much summed up our whole season - dominating and not getting the right result."