Leeds United will be lucky if they see Patrick Bamford playing for them again this season after the latest injury verdict in a tough season for the striker was revealed.
You could hardly blame Bamford if he was feeling down on his luck. Upon Leeds’ promotion, there were plenty who questioned whether the striker was good enough to play for Leeds in the Premier League. However, he responded in the best possible fashion, scoring 17 goals and only trailing Harry Kane as the second highest scoring Englishman.
That form resulted in a treasured first England cap for Bamford, the player starting the Septermber international against Andorra at Wembley.
Since then though, it’s all gone downhill for Bamford. Two games after his England debut, he picked up a problematic ankle injury in the 1-1 draw at Newcastle on September 17. That kept him sidelined for the best part of two months, the striker eventually returning as a sub on December 5.
However, in stepping off the bench at Elland Road, delirious celebrations from Bamford after scoring an injury-time equaliser saw him pull a hamstring.
Once recovered from that, Bamford has since been struggling with plantar fascia- the ligament in the heel of your foot.
That, in turn, kept him sidelined until March 10, with new manager Jesse Marsch bringing him off the bench against Aston Villa.
Starts then followed in the next two games, at home to Norwich and away at Wolves.
Bamford injury now more serious
And despite trying to manage his return carefully, Bamford broke down with the problem again at Molineux. This time, however, the plantar fascia issue looks more serious.
As such, Leeds have now confirmed in a statement that Bamford faces another six weeks out.
And while the striker won’t require surgery, it appears debatable if the striker will play for Leeds again this season.
Leeds United Head of Medicine and Performance Rob Price provided an update on the club’s official website.
“As all of the stats show, Patrick has put his body on the line for Leeds United for a number of seasons. He has played with a plantar fascia injury for the last 12 months. And despite treatment and a prolonged period of rehabilitation, the injury has progressed from a partial tear to a full rupture.
Bamford ‘incredibly unlucky’
“As all sports medics know, injuries to the plantar fascia are notoriously difficult to manage. However, all concerned are confident that he will make a full recovery from this injury in good time.
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“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.”
In total, Bamford has appeared in just 560 Premier League minutes for Leeds this season. Little wonder, without a striker, they are struggling at the wrong end of the table.
Meslier, Cooper, Phillips in contention for return
In better news for Leeds, their injury problems appear to be easing elsewhere.
As well as Bamford, the 2-2 draw with Brentford on December 5 also saw Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper suffer hamstring injuries.
Neither have played for Leeds since.
However, after tenative returns to training prior to the international break, the pair are now in contention to play against Southampton on Saturday.
Star man Raphinha – subject to intense speculation of late – has also been back in training. He missed their win at Wolves following a positive Covid 19 test.
The match at Molineux also saw goalkeeper Illan Meslier limping off. He came off second best following a collision with Wolves striker Raul Jimenez.
And despite now training in recent days due to bruising, Leeds also hope he can face Saints.
“Illan Meslier has suffered severe bruising to his upper thigh and lower torso and therefore not been involved this week. However, the French stopper is expected to be fit for the visit of Saints,” the statement concluded.
Mateusz Klich, who suffered a nasty facial injury at Molineux, has also been back in training. He’s passed the required concussion protocols and is also back in contention.