Patrick Bamford’s return to Leeds delayed by foot injury

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has revealed striker Patrick Bamford has suffered yet another setback in his bid to regain full fitness.

Bamford, one of at least eight injured first-team players set to miss Saturday’s Premier League home game against Newcastle, suffered a foot problem.

Bielsa said: “(Adam) Forshaw and (Junior) Firpo have muscle injuries and Bamford has a new injury.

Patrick Bamford, left, injured his hip while celebrating a late equalizer against Brentford in December (Tim Goode/PA)

“He overcame his muscle issues, but now he has a problem on the bottom of his foot.”

Bamford has made just six Premier League appearances this season due to successive injuries and last appeared for Bielsa’s side in early December.

Bamford came off the bench after recovering from an ankle injury to score an equalizer in stoppage time in a 2-2 home draw against Brentford, only to injure his hip in the celebration of his goal.

Defender Diego Llorente is available for Saturday’s visit to relegation rivals Newcastle and Bielsa has confirmed positive news regarding two other players who recently missed the game through injury.

Joe Gelhardt, center, could return to action on Saturday to help fill the void left by Bamford
Joe Gelhardt, center, could return to action on Saturday to help fill the void left by Bamford (Mike Egerton/PA)

When asked who else would return to contention, Bielsa replied: “Llorente and probably Tyler Roberts and (Joe) Gelhardt. We maintain the presence of Rodrigo, who played 30 minutes last week.

Roberts was suspended for last week’s 3-2 win at West Ham but would have missed out anyway with a calf problem, while Gelhardt (ankle) was ruled out for three matches.

Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper (hamstring), Jamie Shackleton (Achilles) Charlie Cresswell (shoulder) and Sam Greenwood (knee) all remain unavailable.

Forshaw and Firpo (both with hamstrings) were taken off in the space of a minute at West Ham.

Leeds fans have urged the club to bolster their depleted squad during the transfer window and this week they have reportedly made an improved offer for RB Salzburg midfielder Brenden Aaronson.

United States midfielder Brenden Aaronson, left, is a reported transfer target for Leeds
Brenden Aaronson, left, is a reported transfer target for Leeds (Liam McBurney/PA)

An initial bid of £15million for the United States international was reportedly rejected and Bielsa refused to be fired on speculation.

“I prefer to talk about a player when it’s not a hypothetical possibility and when it’s our player,” he added.

Jack Harrison’s first top hat-trick at the London Stadium took Leeds to back-to-back league victories for the first time this season and lifted them nine points clear of the relegation zone.

A third straight league win on Saturday against Newcastle would open a 13-point gap between them and Eddie Howe’s second team.

Bielsa added: “The next game is always the next thing on our mind, but it’s true that a win like that always improves the mood.

“Preparing for a game with the tranquility of victory is better than doing it without, but the most important thing is always the next game.”

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