Kemar Roofe declared himself ready for an “immense” away game at Blackburn Rovers after drawing a line under his calf injury with a goalscoring return with Leeds United’s Under-23s.
Roofe came through 70 minutes of Friday’s development-squad game against Burnley unscathed and said he was targeting Saturday’s Championship visit to Ewood Park after ending what he called “a long four weeks”.
The forward was injured in training during the season’s first international break and has missed United’s last six matches as the club resisted any temptation to rush him back.
Roofe enjoyed the most impressive month of his career in August, scoring four goals and winning the EFL’s Championship player-of-the-month award, but head coach Marcelo Bielsa has not been able to call on him since a 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough on August 31.
The 25-year-old is one of three senior players vying to make their comebacks from injury at Blackburn - Gaetano Berardi also featured in Friday’s 2-2 draw with Burnley while Pablo Hernandez has resumed full training after a hamstring problem - and Leeds will be supported by a huge away crowd in Lancashire after selling more than 7,600 tickets.
“It’s been a long four weeks or so,” Roofe told LUTV. “It’s been very frustrating and it’s nice to get back on the pitch.
“That’s been the key. I’ve trained all week, I’ve got the minutes in now and hopefully I’ll be involved at Blackburn.
“The atmosphere there’s going to be great and the number of away fans we’re bringing is immense. It’ll be like a home game for us.”
Roofe claimed the second goal for the Under-23s against Burnley, slotting home from 14 yards out to put United 2-0 up early in the second half.
He was substituted with 20 minutes to go while Berardi played out the full 90 with Marcelo Bielsa looking on from the stands.
“It was good to get the minutes in,” Roofe said. “You can do all the running on the training field but it doesn’t match up to actual game minutes.
“It was nice to get a goal but the main thing was to get the minutes and come off the pitch still fully fit.”
With United’s season pausing for international fixtures over the weekend, Bielsa made the short trip to Oakwell on Saturday to take in Barnsley’s League One victory over Luton Town.
Leeds return to Championship action positioned third in the Championship, two points behind leaders Sheffield United.