Leeds United will look for Samuel Saiz to resume training this week but the midfielder looks set to miss their Easter programme as the club guard against a worsening of his hamstring injury.
Head coach Paul Heckingbottom expects Saiz to step up his recovery ahead of Friday’s game against Bolton Wanderers at Elland Road but admitted a rush to recall the playmaker could “put him out for a long period of time.”
Heckingbottom left Saiz out of United’s last match, a 2-1 defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday, after the Spaniard carried his hamstring problem through a 2-2 draw at Reading seven days earlier.
Scans revealed a slight tear in a hamstring tendon, forcing Saiz, who served a six-match ban for spitting after the turn of the year, back onto the sidelines.
Leeds’ clash with Bolton is followed by a difficult visit to in-form Fulham a week on Tuesday but Heckingbottom said Saiz was facing a recovery period of two weeks and admitted that United were attempting to “get him through to the end of the season.”
“He’s got a little tear in the tendon of the hamstring,” Heckingbottom said.
“It affects him and his top-end speed. He was able to get through his last game but it was sore afterwards.
“We’re hoping we can get him out on the grass and get him running and back in training.
“The way he plays we may be able to get him through to the end of the season, fingers crossed, but there’s always a risk with that and the last thing we want to do is put him out for a long period of time.”
Club captain Liam Cooper has missed the past two games with a leg injury but Kemar Roofe – absent since a 2-2 draw with Derby County last month – hinted that he was edging close to a comeback by saying he could see “the light at the end of the tunnel” in an Instagram post over the weekend.
The way he plays we may be able to get him through to the end of the season, fingers crossed, but there’s always a risk with that and the last thing we want to do is put him out for a long period of time.Paul Heckingbottom on Samuel Saiz
Leeds and Heckingbottom are targeting a productive finish after seeing their season collapse with a run of one win from 14 games since Christmas.