Cardiff City boss provides star man injury update ahead of 'hard' Leeds United test

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CARDIFF CITY boss Neil Harris has provided an injury update ahead of his side's imminent clash against Leeds United with star man Lee Tomlin back in the group after a knee injury.

Tomlin excelled for the Bluebirds in their 3-3 Championship draw at Elland Road in the middle of December with the forward having been one of Cardiff's stand-out performers since Harris took charge in the middle of last November.

After scoring three goals in his last six games, Tomlin's season was then thought to be over after the 31-year-old injured his knee in training in February.

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Yet the long extension to the Championship season due to the country's battle against coronavirus has given Tomlin prospects of featuring with Harris hoping to get the forward some game time in upcoming friendlies against local sides.

BACK IN THE GROUP: Cardiff City forward Lee Tomlin, right. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images.BACK IN THE GROUP: Cardiff City forward Lee Tomlin, right. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images.
BACK IN THE GROUP: Cardiff City forward Lee Tomlin, right. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images. | Getty

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, whose season was also thought to be over because of a hamstring problem, will also feature in those friendlies while Greg Cunningham remains on the mend from an ACL injury but striker Isaac Vassell has picked up a quad problem.

The EFL season was halted shortly before United's scheduled visit to Cardiff due to the country's fight against COVID-19 but the EFL have earmarked the weekend of June 20 as a provisional date for a restart with games played behind closed doors.

Asked about his squad from a football perspective in an interview on Cardiff City's website, Harris said: "From a football perspective good as in Mendy is getting more minutes into his legs and will take part in the games.

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"And Lee Tomlin is back in the group now and doing the majority of it and we are hoping to get some minutes into him in the fixtures we have got coming up as well which will be a real positive.

"Greg Cunningham is stronger every day and doing more and more sessions.

"Issac has had a setback with his quad injury which is a shame and we are just waiting on details with that but that is horrendous bad luck for him."

Asked about Tomlin, Harris said: "All of the lads have got a twinkle in their eye about starting again.

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"The boys who thought they might not play a lot of football, they certainly see this as a bonus.

"Tommo is infectious, a great character and a very good trainer, hence why he got injured in the first place.

"That's what we want at the football club, our senior players to show our younger ones coming through.

"Tommo has been out a long time now and he has to get over those hurdles of the mental side of things as well as the physical ones, ticking the boxes to get out onto pitch and trusting your body.

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"He's doing that final stage at the moment, which is one of the hardest parts for the rehab.

"But he's also taken part in a lot of functional drills that we're doing and tactically taking part in that as well.

"We pick up all the messages and it's just making sure that we progress him at his pace.

"It's making sure we get the lads in the right place at the right time."

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Harris added: "We know we are going to come back and play against Leeds and Preston in the first two games, two teams that are run extremely well and hard in games and we have to be ready.

"We are in the process of finalising friendly fixtures with a couple of local sides which will be really good for us and for them also.

"It's just building the minutes up for the boys and getting ready for the 20th of June."

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