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Tuesday, January 19, 1999 Published at 19:14 GMT

Di Canio fit for comeback

Paolo di Canio - has been training at home in Italy

Paolo di Canio has been passed fit by two doctors - but there seems little chance of an early comeback with Sheffield Wednesday.

The Italian agreed to be examined by an independent medical practitioner after earlier informing the club he was suffering from stress and depression.

Di Canio has not played since the Football Association banned him for 11 matches for pushing referee Paul Alcock over after being sent off in the home game with Arsenal last September.

He was subsequently given compassionate leave by the club but failed to return by an agreed date and has been fined every week by them since mid-December.

[ image: Wednesday: Currently 13th in the Premiership table]
Wednesday: Currently 13th in the Premiership table
Di Canio says he will not return despite the findings of the two doctors unless the club agrees to meet a number of conditions.

But secretary Graham Mackrell said: "The club does not believe it should agree to meet all of the conditions requested prior to the player's return to England.

"In view of this we have today requested him to return to the club as soon as he can and suggested that the outstanding difficulty should be arbitrated in due course by the appropriate tribunal, unless a compromise can be reached in the meantime.

"The nature of the outstanding issue will not be disclosed by the club but it is confirmed the player will continue to remain suspended without pay until such time as he returns."

Wednesday fined Di Canio £68,000 immediately after the incident and unless he returns by this weekend the total money lost by him will pass £100,000.

"The club understands that it will take a few more days to resolve the situation and would like to think that the player will be allowed to consider his position without being subjected to outside pressures," Mackrell added.

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