Kalvin Phillips gives knee update and explains how Leeds United know they're ready for restart

READY - Kalvin Phillips says Leeds United's murderball sessions in training told him he's ready to restart the Championship. Pic: Jonathan GawthorpeREADY - Kalvin Phillips says Leeds United's murderball sessions in training told him he's ready to restart the Championship. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe
READY - Kalvin Phillips says Leeds United's murderball sessions in training told him he's ready to restart the Championship. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe | jpimedia
Kalvin Phillips feels fitter and stronger than before a global pandemic suspended the Championship and with two ‘murderball’ sessions under his belt has declared himself ready to restart the season.

Leeds United are due to get underway again in just under a fortnight’s time, with the EFL’s provisional restart date planned for June 20.

The Whites will play a game that weekend, have the midweek off and then play twice a week until the nine remaining fixtures are completed.

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They're expected to face the fixtures in the order they were initially presented and will begin with a trip to Cardiff City.

Midfielder Phillips missed Leeds’ final game before the suspension, a win over Huddersfield, with a knee issue, but a three-month break from action has allowed him and any team-mates with niggles to heal.

“I was one of them players,” he said.

“I missed the last game with a sore knee. I think the first week or so gave you time to recover.”

But there was little rest, otherwise.

Leeds gave players homework to do every day, sessions that enabled them to return to Thorp Arch in shape.

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“When we got back we did a bit of running but as you could tell, we’re as fit as we have been,” said Phillips.

“I felt exactly the same, if anything I’m probably fitter and stronger than I was before the pandemic.”

The litmus test was the return of full contact training last week, including Bielsa’s trademark ‘murderball’ sessions – non-stop, high intensity football.

Coming through it told Phillips he’s ready for the real thing.

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“It’s a good guideline for us because we haven’t played football for so long,” he said.

“We were concerned that if we’re not fit enough or we’re not right, it’s not going to go well for us.

“But I think when we do get to these murderball sessions, having worked hard throughout the pandemic, we can see where we’re at and I believe we are ready to start the games now and finish the season.”