Leeds United have been forced to cope without their big money summer signing Patrick Bamford for the majority of the season so far, but Phil Hay has moved to suggest that he is closing in on another return next week.
The limits of Marcelo Bielsa’s squad have been stretched this season by a succession of injury problems. Every one of his key figureheads has been sidelined at one point or another but Bamford has suffered more than most following his summer transfer.
Ligament injuries are the stuff of nightmares for top level footballers and Bamford was forced to stare that particular reality in the face just weeks after signing for the Whites.
The 26-year-old’s promising comeback against Bolton Wanderers in which he netted the winning goal from the bench hinted that a key role beckoned, but the boost his return provided was short-lived and another injury setback has left him sidelined since December 15th.
But, after missing seven Championship fixtures, Phil Hay has moved to suggest that he is moving towards another return to first-team football.
The highly respected Yorkshire Evening Post journalist has used his Twitter account to confirm that Bamford should be fit to play in the U23’s next week.
should play in 23s next week.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 28, 2019
According to Leeds United’s official website, the U23 squad are not due to play until February 12th, but various other sources including Soccerway detail a fixture against Birmingham City U23’s scheduled for Saturday 2nd February.
That Hay – an impeccably reliable source on all things Leeds – has alluded to an U23 fixture next week suggests that Bamford could be in action this Saturday.
If that proves to be true, Bamford could be back in the first-team fold when Leeds travel to the Riverside Stadium to face his former club on February 9th.
A return to the side against Boro could be vital for the club in a tricky looking encounter. Tony Pulis’ side are typically well organised for a side under the old-school veteran’s watch, and Bielsa may yet need to rely on a plan B option to unlock the fellow promotion-hopefuls in just under a fortnight’s time.
Leeds have managed their injury list with brilliant resourcefulness so far this season, but there is no question Bamford’s return will give the club a massive boost in their bid for promotion.
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