Striker Davide Somma is expected to be fit for the start of pre-season and will return to the training pitch with a vote of confidence from the club’s assistant manager, Mick Jones.
The South African international appears to be winning his battle against the knee injury which required two operations and forced him to miss the whole of this season.
Somma suffered cruciate ligament damage in the early stages of Leeds’ last pre-season programme and saw his hopes of an on-schedule comeback ended when United sent him for a fresh bout of surgery in March.
The 27-year-old was expected to play a major role in the 2011-12 campaign having broken into United’s first team during the previous year but his recent set-back left him fighting to be ready for the opening day of the forthcoming Championship term.
Manager Neil Warnock revealed that Somma is on course to take part in pre-season, which begins provisionally for Leeds on July 4 and in earnest on July 11, and he admitted that Jones had identified much to admire in the striker’s game.
Warnock said: “Mick loves him. I’ve not seen a lot of him but Mick has and he loves him.
“But you just don’t know when you’ve had injuries like that. When you’ve been out for the length of time he has it’s difficult to predict if a player can sustain the top level of Championship football.”
Somma is part of an extensive injury list at Elland Road, and defender Leigh Bromby was sent to London for surgery on a ruptured knee tendon earlier this week.
But defender Patrick Kisnorbo and winger Robbie Rogers, who are recovering from knee and ankle injuries respectively, could also be available when Warnock’s squad report back to Thorp Arch in two months’ time.
“They’re all working hard and they’re all going to be fit for pre-season,” Warnock said. “Paddy’s determined to be fit. They should all be available.”