Senior Telegraph journalist John Percy has said that Leeds United will start contact training next week as the last hurdle before restart is cleared.
Percy claims that following the EFL meeting on Wednesday it was agreed that phase 2 training protocols would be sent to the 24 Championship clubs on Thursday, with a final decision set for Monday.
He understands the “majority of the 24 clubs” will vote for contact training to resume, which could see Leeds players in more competitive action from Tuesday morning.
That means restart dates of June 19 or June 26 are still very feasible – these are the same dates the Premier League is currently working towards, although some think June 12 is still possible for the top-flight.
Percy names Leeds United, West Brom, Fulham, Brentford, Nottingham Forest, Preston, Millwall and Bristol City as teams that will vote for contact training.
He quotes Millwall manager Gary Rowett as saying, “We want to play on and for the integrity of the league and the clubs who get promoted or relegated, it’s better to complete the 46 games.”
This is major news for Leeds and it means that the Championship is running almost exactly a week behind the Premier League.
The top-flight got their latest test results on Wednesday and they returned just four positives from over 1,000 tests conducted.
They were cleared for contact training this week after player concerns evaporated in the light of the positive testing program.
Even Troy Deeney has said he will return to training. The Watford striker was one of the most high-profile absentees at training so far.
If, as Percy claims, the vote passes on Monday, then Marcelo Bielsa will be able to really start working the players back towards full fitness.
And the real significance – as Gary Neville pointed out on Wednesday – is if players vote for contact training then they’re effectively giving the green light to play matches.
It means both the two top tiers in England are set to resume in June and that means the Leeds promotion bid is back on in earnest.
Now we’re just waiting for the nerves to kick in.
In other Leeds United news, ‘It’s a disgrace’ – Simon Jordan slams Project Restart decision that could be big blow for Leeds