Pontus Jansson and Adam Forshaw are battling to put themselves in contention for Leeds United’s clash with Millwall and give Marcelo Bielsa a near fully-fit squad for the Championship run-in.
Jansson could unexpectedly retain his place this weekend having made a swift recovery from an injury suffered in Leeds’ 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United and Forshaw is also close to a comeback after an eight-game absence.
Jansson looked set to be missing for up to three weeks with a knee problem sustained before the international break - a problem which forced him to withdraw from Sweden’s European Championship qualifiers - but the centre-back has made good progress and is fighting to keep his position in the middle of Bielsa’s defence.
Forshaw has not played since a 3-1 defeat to Norwich City at the start of February because of a knee problem of his own but the midfielder was aiming to resume full training this week as Leeds close in on their last eight games of the season.
Bielsa’s injury list has been extensive and persistent all season but the availability of Jansson and Forshaw would leave top scorer Kemar Roofe as the only senior player in the treatment room at Thorp Arch.
Roofe damaged knee ligaments last month and was ruled out for six to eight weeks but the striker was confident of playing again this season and is on course to figure in the last month of the campaign.
Bielsa gave most of United’s squad the first half of last week off but had them in at Thorp Arch over the weekend and is weighing up his response to a disappointing defeat to Sheffield United.
Leeds would have opened up a five-point advantage over the Blades with a win at Elland Road but dropped behind Chris Wilder’s side into third place after Chris Basham’s 71st-minute winner.
Kiko Casilla’s dismissal late in that derby will see him serve a one-match ban against Millwall on Saturday. Bailey Peacock-Farrell is preparing to replace the Spaniard in goal.