A LATE decision will be made on the participation of Leeds United centre-back and captain Sol Bamba ahead of Saturday’s Championship clash with Hull City at Elland Road.
Bamba fractured his toe in the international break building up to last month’s home clash with Rotherham United but Whites head coach Steve Evans had been hopeful the 30-year-old might recover in time to feature this weekend.
Bamba played no part in last weekend’s loss at Queen’s Park Rangers but Evans said earlier this week that the 30-year-old had a “big chance” of returning for Saturday’s showdown with Hull.
But speaking at Thursday’s Thorp Arch press conference, Evans revealed a late decision would be taken on the defender who will not be rushed back earlier than he is ready.
United will definitely be without full back Gaetano Berardi who serves the second game of a reduced two-match ban and Evans also insisted there would not be “wholesale changes” one week on from the huge disappointment of last weekend’s 1-0 loss at Loftus Road.
“We’re not so sure about Sol yet and we’ll give him an opportunity to show us tomorrow that he’s fit,” said Evans.
“Really it’s just about healing time and a question of time for the big man.
“When he went out we were told around three to four weeks and it’s three weeks tomorrow so we’ve still got a bit of hope and I know the medical department have.
“But what we don’t want to do is like we said with Charlie Taylor - two weeks ago we had the option before Queen’s Park Rangers of rushing Charlie and it was never going to be an option for me.
“You have to be absolutely 100 per cent behind your medical team and we lose our head physiotherapist (Harvey Sharman) on Saturday who in five or six weeks I have grown to trust implicitly.”
Leeds sit 17th in the Championship table and now just four points above the dropzone with the Whites approaching this weekend’s fixture following back to back league losses to Rotherham and QPR.
But Evans said: “I’ve never been a manager that would go about making wholesale changes anywhere. If you’re making wholesale changes you have got a bit of a ‘I didn’t have a clue about last week’ approach about you.
“I think there will be two or three changes to the starting line up, things that we have looked at, that we have to look at first and that we have looked at.
“And for the past couple of days we have also been looking in the afternoons and evenings of the analysis of Hull City and what they are all about and how can we affect it against them.
“But first and foremost we have to worry about ourselves and if we get ourselves right then we will have a chance of winning.”
Evans also paid a glowing tribute to Taylor who has made a seamless return to the first team having missed several weeks with glandular fever.
“I described him as not human,” said Evans.
“He came in at the early part of the week and we look at the standards on the training pitch and the results and the analysis and he is back up there again.
“The boy is going to play in the Premier League and we all have to hope and pray that it’s with Leeds United because this football club should play in the Premier League and Charlie Taylor will play in the Premier League.”