The left-back sustained an injury during pre-season, with manager Jesse Marsch predicting that the 26-year-old would be out for eight weeks.
He has missed the Whites’ first six Premier League matches, as well as their Carabao Cup tie against Barnsley, forcing the manager to get creative on the left-hand side of his defence.
Pascal Struijk, who is predominantly a centre-back, has spent 584 out of a possible 630 minutes operating as a makeshift full-back so far this term.
Before confirmation that Leeds’ clash against Nottingham Forest, originally scheduled for Monday night, had been postponed following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, LUFCFANZONE took to Twitter to share the latest on Firpo.
The Spaniard was due to be back in the matchday squad for that game but will now return against Manchester United or, failing that, Aston Villa.
The independent Leeds platform tweeted: “An update on Junior Firpo, the Spaniard will return to Leeds’ squad on Monday following his absence from injury. It is not yet know if he will start or feature on the bench, however he has recovered and will be in the squad.”
This is a timely boost for Leeds, who have stuttered after a strong start to the season.
When Marsch’s side beat Chelsea 3-0 in August, they were sitting pretty in third place with seven points from a possible nine. Since then, however, they have been beaten 1-0 at Brentford, held at home by Everton and thrashed 5-2 by Brighton, tumbling down to ninth.
Firpo has been described as ‘incredibly fit, quick and strong’ by Kevin Campbell, and Leeds can definitely benefit from his return from injury. He ranks in the 95th percentile among full-backs for pressures per 90 minutes and the 78th for touches in the attacking penalty area (FBref), emphasising his ability to get up and down the pitch.
It was a ‘horrible‘ injury for the 26-year-old, in the words of Beren Cross of Leeds Live, but Firpo will now be hoping that he can win back his place in the team. Given the lack of squad depth at left-back, it should be an instant return to the starting line-up for the Spaniard.
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