Huge setback for Leeds as big-money signing faces lengthy lay-off

Leeds’ promotion ambitions have suffered a major blow after striker Patrick Bamford was ruled out for four months with a knee injury.

The forward, a £7million capture from rivals Middlesbrough, damaged knee ligaments in an Under-23s game against Bristol City last week. The former Chelsea man will not be seen in a Leeds shirt until 2019 at the earliest.

Bamford limped off during the first half of the 5-0 win, but the outcome could have been far worse than initially feared with scans showing an injury to his posterior cruciate ligament which could have ruled him out of the entire campaign.

Director of football Victor Orta told the club’s official website: “This is clearly disappointing news for Patrick and everyone connected with Leeds.

“Patrick has settled in well, quickly becoming an important player for Marcelo Bielsa and a popular part of the group.

“We have an excellent medical team at the club and Patrick is in the best possible hands. He will be back available to us during an important part of the season and he will still play an important role.”

Bamford’s absence leaves Kemar Roofe as the club’s only recognised out and out striker, although Tyler Roberts – a January signing from West Brom – could now come into the equation, having himself returned to fitness following a lengthy injury absence.

Leeds United Championship

Leeds top the Championship after six matches and resume their promotion bid with a clash at Millwall on Saturday – a match, ironically, where their promotion ambitions started to unravel last season.