Bolton Wanderers v Leeds United: Striker Patrick Bamford 'available to start' after Clarets outing and treble

STRIKER Patrick Bamford is back "available to start" for Leeds United following his second outing for the Whites under-23s and mid-week hat-trick against Burnley.

Thursday, 13th December 2018, 2:05 pm
Updated Friday, 14th December 2018, 8:26 am
Patrick Bamford, centre.

Bamford excelled in his second game back for United's under-23s following the posterior cruciate ligament injury that the forward picked up in September which was expected to keep the 25-year-old out for four months.

But while admitting that Bamford would still need game-time to reach his previous levels, Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa has revealed that the striker would now be fit enough to start if selected ahead of Saturday's Championship clash at Bolton Wanderers.

Providing his assessment of Bamford's display and treble in Tuesday's 6-3 victory against Burnley's under-23s, Bielsa said: "He scored three goals. For a number nine it’s a very important thing.

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"He is well and he is available for the team.

"Of course, to reach his previous level he needs more activity and more games, but he’s available to start or play as a substitute."

Izzy Brown also featured against Burnely's under-23s as the 21-year-old continues on the comeback trail from tearing his ACL whilst on loan for Brighton back in January.

But Bielsa revealed that Brown would still need more time before being ready to return to the Whites bench.

Leeds remain minus the services of skipper Liam Cooper plus fellow defenders Gaetano Berardi, Luke Ayling, Tom Pearce and the versatile Stuart Dallas ahead of Saturday's clash with the Trotters - as well as goalkeeper Jamal Blackman who is out for the season with a broken leg.

Bielsa has already revealed that Ayling and Pearce look set to return this month.