Marcelo Bielsa kept his cards close to his chest in typical fashion when he provided an update on the fitness of Leeds’ academy graduate Jack Clarke.
The 18-year-old winger made 13 consecutive first team appearances — including three starts — before illness forced him off in the 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough in February.
Clarke made his comeback for the U-23 side on Monday, and Leeds Live report that during his pre-match press conference Bielsa revealed very little, but did say he would be turning out for the second-string again later on Thursday against Fulham, but declined to say if he would be involved with the first team at the weekend.
The game against local and promotion rivals, Sheffield United, on Saturday is arguably the biggest game of the season, and victory for the hosts would see them open up a five point lead on the third-placed visitors.
It gives added spice to a derby that promises to be a mouth-watering encounter, and the magnitude of the game is evident by the fact that Bielsa — unusually for recent weeks — opted to not name his starting lineup early.
A home win would leave the chasing pack with a mountain to climb to overhaul the Whites, and would surely be enough to see them home and dry.
The potential return of Clarke provides a timely boost ahead of the final stretch of a season that will surely culminate in Premier League football returning to Elland Road for the first time since 2004.
There was no further news on return dates for injured duo Adam Forshaw and Kemar Roofe with Bielsa suggesting that they are “evolving” and in the latter stages of recovery but added that he “can’t say more than that”.
What do you think Leeds fans? Are you pleased with Clarke’s impending return to the first team fray? Is a win on Saturday enough for you to start planning your trips to Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge next season? Let us know your thoughts…