Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch has confirmed that Stuart Dallas has made ‘exciting’ progress on his return from injury this week.
The lowdown: Cruel blow
The 31-year-old Northern Ireland international has been a big miss for the Whites, particularly given the ace’s unrivalled ability to play in numerous positions across the pitch.
Leeds have also lost Adam Forshaw, Luis Sinisterra, Junior Firpo, Luke Ayling and Liam Cooper to injury in the early weeks of the season, although Marsch has shed some positive light on many of the comebacks…
The latest: ‘Exciting’
Speaking during the pre-Southampton press conference ahead of the clash at St Mary’s (via Hampshire Live), the Whites’ boss was upbeat about the current situation.
The 48-year-old said: “We’ve had a lot more guys in training this week. Adam, Liam and Luis have all in their training and are eligible for the weekend. Junior [Firpo] is probably a couple of weeks behind and the same with Luke Ayling, although he had a visit to his surgeon down in London, and the surgeon said that he’s ahead of schedule and looking really good and he just needs a little bit more time.
“Stuart Dallas, I saw on the pitch today, moving around a little bit so that was an exciting moment for us. Danny Van Den Heuvel is still working on his neck but looking positive as well. So we’ve got more options this week, which is what we felt would be the case last week.”
The verdict: Positive signs
After what was a badly injury-ravaged season in 2021/22, getting a host of key players back over the coming weeks and indeed over this weekend itself puts a whole new complexion on the Elland Road ranks.
Prior to the leg break, Dallas – who was hailed as ‘outstanding‘ by ex-England stopper Paul Robinson – had made 37 appearances across all competitions for Leeds last term, earning a 6.90 Sofascore rating whilst winning 5.4 duels and making 1.7 interceptions on average per game.
Welcoming the fan favourite back anytime before Christmas would undoubtedly be a huge boost to Marsch’s plans, although, with a World Cup beginning in November, the extra time to get back to full fitness could be ideal for the £3.6million valued Northern Irishman.
In the meantime, Leeds supporters will just be glad to see Forshaw, Sinisterra and Cooper back among the match-day squad.
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