Leeds United v Barnsley: Jansson returns to training ahead of Yorkshire derby

PONTUS Jansson will return to training tomorrow following a blow to the head, with the Swede back in contention to feature for Leeds United in Saturday's Championship hosting of Barnsley.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 19th April 2018, 6:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th April 2018, 6:11 pm
Pontus Jansson.
Pontus Jansson.

Jansson suffered a head injury in the 3-1 loss at Preston North End with the 27-year-old ruled out of last Friday night’s 1-0 loss at Aston Villa due to protocol over concussion.

The Swede had still not returned to training today but the defender was set to resume training on Friday ahead of Saturday’s Elland Road date with the Tykes.

In Jansson’s absence, Everton loanee Matthew Pennington made a quicker-than-expected return from a calf injury to partner rapidly emerging youngster Paudie O’Connor at centre-back at Villa Park. Fellow defenders Liam Cooper, Conor Shaughnessy, Laurens De Bock and Luke Ayling remain injured and Gaetano Berardi is banned, but Cooper and midfielder Adam Forshaw returned to training after their recent setbacks today though a more patient approach is likely before the duo return to the team.

Leeds United head coach, Paul Heckingbottom. PIC: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Asked about Jansson (on Thursday), Whites head coach Paul Heckingbottom said: “He’s not trained yet so we are hoping we have ticked off the last box today in terms of return to play and protocol so hopefully he will be back in tomorrow.”

Asked who might be the next of United’s injured players to return to the team, Heckingbottom revealed: “We have had a couple training today – Coops has trained and Adam has trained but that’s literally just been it. Where they are, we will have to wait and see. It’s just good to have them on the grass, for them as well. For us, with the run we have had in terms of injuries and suspensions, it’s been tough and you have got to guard against that desperation to get back in because it can do more harm than good.

“Bit by bit now we will be drip feeding back into the squad. There will be lots of decisions then on first and foremost how long have they been out as to when they can come back in.”

Heckingbottom added: “It’s just getting their bodies back in training, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to come back in and play but helps the training environment and the sooner we get them all back in the better.

Leeds United head coach, Paul Heckingbottom. PIC: Nick Potts/PA Wire

“If this game is too soon for them then hopefully Norwich and if not then hopefully QPR.

“It will be good to get them back in.”