'We all hope it will be like that' - Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa on Adam Forshaw latest
He hasn’t played for 18 months but Adam Forshaw is far from Marcelo Bielsa’s forgotten man at Leeds United.
The central midfielder remains, in Bielsa’s words, a “very important” player for the Whites and the head coach is hopeful that the final two months of the Premier League season will allow Forshaw to finally return from his hip problems.
Forshaw had surgery midway through last season, having struggled to overcome an issue that kept him out from the end of September 2019.
Various setbacks have delayed a comeback but, in February, Forshaw revealed his hope of being involved before the current campaign was done.
Bielsa, while always exercising caution when referring to the 29-year-old, shares that hope. He said: “The timings for Forshaw, even if he has been in a positive moment for 10 days, we have to measure it in months.
“He basically hasn’t played for two seasons. To be able to play 90 minutes at a high level of competition after being healthy, there’s still a while to go before you’re ready for that.
“He’s healthy, and there’s two months left of the season so he can prove he’s finally over his issues. We all hope it will be like that.”
The Argentine has often paid tribute to Forshaw’s dedication to his rehabilitation and continues to consider him a key player for Leeds.
“He’s a very important player and he has made a massive effort to overcome the situation he’s going through,” he added.
As with all players returning from long-term injuries - Robin Koch and Gaetano Berardi are two recent examples - Forshaw would be expected to come through a number of Under-23s games before being considered for first-team action.
Mark Jackson’s Premier League 2 side are without a fixture until April 16 when they travel to Aston Villa, then complete their season with a trip to Fulham on April 26 and a Thorp Arch clash with Burnley on May 3.
But the senior side will still have four Premier League games remaining after that date, which gives Forshaw a little more time to realise his and Bielsa’s hope of a 2020/21 comeback.