When the team was announced yesterday and there was no Patrick Bamford it wasn’t a great feeling. News soon filtered out he had picked up an injury, or had felt some discomfort in training on Saturday and it was precaution. Marcelo Bielsa confirmed he wasn’t ruling him out of the boxing day fixture against Blackburn after the game.
You have to be extremely careful when brining players back from injury and with what’s happened at Leeds United this season we have to be extra careful. Bamford returned ahead of schedule last weekend at Bolton and slammed home a late winner to secure a crucial fifth straight win for the side. Just a week later and we heard he was injured again. From what we’ve now heard he felt some discomfort in his knee and it was simply precaution that saw him miss yesterday’s game, a wise decision from a medical team working wonders at the moment.
We still haven’t heard to what extent Izzy Brown’s setback was and we still have Gaetano Berardi and Liam Cooper, as well as Stuart Dallas all out of action. Barry Douglas was taken ill before the game yesterday and was replaced last-minute by youngster Leif Davis, a great example of what Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa have been dealing with on a regular basis this season. That is the second time and youngster has had to replace an experienced defender just before kick-off this season Jamie Shackleton replacing Liam Cooper in the trip to Swansea.
All of this has made the rise and impressive Leeds United team even more remarkable this term. I can’t remember ever having such an injury crisis in a single season, and we’re only at Christmas and we’re top of the table. Hopefully Bamford’s scan won’t show anything unexpected and he’s back on the bench because this next few weeks will be demanding on the side, and if we can get maximum points from our next two home games it will have been a stunning end to the calendar year.