A look at the current state of the Thorp Arch treatment room as Leeds United prepare to make the trip to St Mary’s to face an our of form Southampton side
Leeds United are back in action on Saturday lunchtime when they take on fellow relegated side Southampton in the early Championship kick-off. Leeds head to the south coast looking to extend their six-match unbeaten Championship run alive and are aiming to register a fifth consecutive clean sheet in the process.
They will be up against a Saints side struggling for form, with Russell Martin’s men having lost their last four and having the unwanted record of having conceded more goals than any other side in the division, something Leeds will be keen to take advantage of. And while Daniel Farke will not want to make too many changes from the side that off Watford 3-0 last weekend, he may have another significant attack option he can call upon.
Ahead of the Saturday 12.30pm kick-off, here is a look at the current state of Leeds United’s injury and suspension list.
Patrick Bamford injured his hamstring shortly before the start of the new season, but is now working his way back to match fitness and is set to travel with the squad to Southampton.
What Farke said (September 28): “[He’s] in team training, I think this week was massively beneficial for him. He’s also in topic for the squad on Saturday. It’s much improved, two weeks back in training. I think he’ll travel with us.
“There is an old rule that normally a player who’s back in training needs as long on the training pitch to be ready with full confidence, full rhythm, to be ready to play the same time like he was out. Patrick is an experienced player, for offensive players sometimes it’s a bit quicker so hopefully he doesn’t need eight weeks to be back in the mix.”
Junior Firpo has also been absent for the whole campaign so far and is set to be sidelined until after the October international break.
What Farke said (September 28): “Junior Firpo is not back in team training so it will also definitely last until the international break.”
Italy international Wilfried Gnonto was forced off against Hull City last week with an ankle problem and has undergone surgery that will keep him out until after the international break.
What Farke said (September 28): “Willy Gnonto had successful surgery so he’s already on his way to doing a lot of rehab work.”
Tottenham loanee Djed Spence suffered a knee injury in training earlier this month, with the club putting out a statement confirming he would miss up to eight weeks. The club’s head of performance and medicine, Rob Price, went on The Official Leeds United Podcast earlier this week and Spence was one of several players he gave an update on.
What Rob Price said (September 25): “Djed was really unfortunate. Last week, he’s gone into a challenge in training, his foot slipped from underneath him and he’s ruptured the lateral ligament of his knee. Ninety per cent of these heal pretty well within eight weeks.
“We do some injections to try and promote the healing in that area and we protect it and his rehab is based on that. “So, at the minute, he’s a week into this and we’re just progressing really, really slowly, but it’s a freak accident. It could have happened to anyone.
“His foot slipped and it slips as he’s in a challenge, someone falls on his leg and pushes him into a level where the ligament can’t tolerate it, so it snaps, but what I would say about him, as with all the players, is already his attitude to doing what’s right and to making sure he’s going to be okay has been first class.
“We’ll build him up over the next few weeks. We hope he lies in that 90 per cent who get there within the eight weeks.
“If he doesn’t, there’s things we can do beyond that, but there’s certainly nothing extra you’d do at this stage when he’s got a good chance of being back in with us some time in November.”
Stuart Dallas was another player that Rob Price spoke about, following the Northern Irishman’s return to first-team training last week as he steps up his comeback.
What Rob Price said (September 25): “I don’t think anyone has dealt with the injury Stu had before. I spoke with Stu earlier today and I said how much do you want me to mention about this, because we’ve been pretty quiet about it.
“We released the basics, and we carried on with the rehab. I think he’s got to this stage now, and we’ve still got to be clear this is still part of his rehabilitation, joining in the training group does not mean he’s available for selection for the squad.
“We’ve still got to build up the volume of training. This is the first time he’s had other players around him, and that’s a different intensity, it’s a different feel, you’ve got different perceptions going on around you, so it’s still a part of the process.”