Leeds United lost four players to injury in their victory against Wolves, those being Patrick Bamford, Diego Llorente, Illan Meslier, and Mateusz Klich. Meanwhile, Raphinha was ruled out of contention for that game altogether due to a positive COVID result.
The good news is, just one of those players is due for an extended period, though it is indeed Patrick Bamford. The striker will be out for another six weeks at least with a ruptured plantar fascia, but will not require surgery. Speaking to LeedsUnited.com, Rob Price said:
“As all sports medics know, injuries to the plantar fascia are notoriously difficult to manage, but all concerned are confident that he will make a full recovery from this injury in good time.
“Patrick has been incredibly unlucky this year, his game time has been limited by different injuries including an ankle injury sustained at Newcastle and hamstring and quad injuries once back in training and matchday squads.
“What he needs is a period of rest and rehabilitation to allow his body to fully recover.”
Mateusz Klich has passed concussion protocols after clashing with Robin Koch against Wolves, earning himself quite the shiner in the process. Raphinha has recovered from COVID-19.
Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper have been longer-term absentees and featured on the bench at Molineux, continuing their training this week and in contention for minutes against Southampton. Diego Llorente has also trained this week.
Illan Meslier was severely bruised in the clash with Raul Jiminez in the previous fixture and is yet to train this week. However, he is still expected to be available for the visit of Southampton.
The update did not add any further news on Tyler Roberts’ injury condition.
Raúl Jiménez sees red!— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 18, 2022
The striker receives a second booking for a coming together with Illan Meslier pic.twitter.com/mry61MNJzM
Bamford’s injury has sparked debate over how Jesse Marsch should approach his absence. So far, we’ve seen so many variations to the front players, with Joe Gelhardt, Rodrigo, and Dan James taking up the striker roles so far. With an already thin squad, finding balance within the team will be a challenge, especially when setting up the Leeds attack.
Meanwhile, the return of Kalvin Phillips may help to balance the midfield nicely, freeing up Robin Koch to play in his preferred centre-back position. Marsch indicated in a recent interview that we can expect him to play a similar role to the England national team.
The leadership of Liam Cooper may well have the biggest impact of them all. Pascal Struijk looks like a young lad with deteriorating confidence, while Llorente and Koch have not taken up a particular leading role either.
How would you like to see Leeds set up for the run-in? Let us know on Twitter @ThruItAllLUFC.