Davide Somma’s Leeds United comeback has been delayed again after the club called off another planned appearance with their Under-21s.
Somma’s hopes of a competitive outing in today’s youth team match between Leeds and Birmingham City were dashed when freezing conditions forced United to postpone the game at Thorp Arch.
Leeds intended to give the striker a half-hour run-out having seen plans to use him in a development league fixture at Wigan Athletic last week ruined by a waterlogged pitch, but the repeated complications could delay the resumption of his first-team career until after the turn of the year.
Somma is nearing the end of an 18-month injury absenceL and has started full training after recovering from two knee operations, but Leeds are expected to field him in a number of development matches before throwing him into the second half of their Championship season.
United’s Under-21s do not have another league fixture planned until the middle of next month, when they host Sheffield United, and Somma’s return could materialise at the same time as manager Neil Warnock goes in search of a new striker in the January transfer window.
Warnock, who has not been able to use Somma in a first-team fixture at any stage of his time as boss, is planning to add to his pool of forwards next month but the South African international appears as close to a comeback as he has been since damaging a cruciate knee ligament in July 2011.LeedsHe underwent a major operation at the time and had further surgery in the spring of this year, and his most recent senior appearance remains his start against Warnock’s Queens Park Rangers side on the last day of the 2010-11 season.
Warnock and his assistant, Mick Jones, have consistently spoken highly of Somma but the United manager admitted last week that he was wary of asking too much of a 27-year-old who has seen half of the three-year deal he agreed with Leeds in 2010 wasted by injury.
“He’s exactly the sort of player you want to have on the bench,” Warnock said, “but everyone knows how long he’s been out for. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him too soon.”