Leeds United surgery update as striker re-enters Daniel Farke selection thinking for Southampton
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The striker has been working his way back to full fitness since going down with a hamstring injury in the pre-season friendly at Hearts on July 30. That issue came after two heavily disrupted seasons in which Bamford made just 25 Premier League starts. Ankle, hamstring and foot problems ravaged his 2021/22 campaign and a groin injury kept him out for a spell last season and necessitated minor surgery. He then missed the final game of the campaign after damaging his hamstring at West Ham United.
Farke liked what he saw from Bamford in pre-season and is delighted to have the striker back available as they prepare for the Saints.
"He’s obviously not in perfect rhythm, he hasn't played since the second to last pre-season game, but he's one week further ahead,” said Farke.
"Being in team training this week it was massively beneficial for him and he's a topic for the squad on Saturday. It's much improved. Two weeks back in training, he's definitely a topic for the squad.”
Bamford will need time to get back to his best, admits Farke, but his presence comes as a boost for an already in-form attack.
“There's an old rule that a player needs as long on the training pitch to be ready with full confidence to be ready to play, the same time as he was out,” said Farke.
"Patrick is experienced and for offensive players it can be quicker. Hopefully it's not eight weeks for him to be ready. He's highly motivated to be involved, I can see this in training. He's in a good mood and knows he's a really good player at this level. It's definitely good to have a player of his experience and ability back in the mix.”
Bamford was joined in his rehabilitation period by Junior Firpo, who is also yet to feature in a competitive game for Farke. The left-back had a knee problem and then recently returned to training only to suffer some discomfort in his hip. Willy Gnonto is also out after injuring his ankle ligament in the 0-0 draw at Hull City. Farke expects the Italian international to be out until at least the October international break after requiring surgery on the injury but the operation went to plan. And Djed Spence rounds off the unavailable group as he recovers from a knee problem.
“Everything is okay so far [with the rest of the squad],” said the German.
"Willy is out until after the next international break, Firpo is not back in training yet. Gnonto had successful surgery and he is well on his way to lots of rehab work. Djed Spence also needs time. That’s more or less it.”