By George Overhill

25th Feb, 2022 | 12:40pm

Marcelo provides negative Leeds United injury update on Patrick Bamford and Kalvin Phillips

The injury problems for key players at Leeds United appear to be dragging on further still after Marcelo Bielsa admitted they won’t return when hoped.

The Athletic reported this week that the club were hoping that the game against Aston Villa on March 10 would finally see the long-awaited return of Patrick Bamford and Kalvin Phillips, but that is now unlikely.

The manager says there is “not a fixed date” for either of the pair, or captain Liam Cooper, to make a comeback.

In his press conference, as shown on Leeds’ Twitter account, ahead of Saturday’s game against Tottenham the Argentine said of the trio: “There’s not a fixed date. With the prediction they were going to be available in early March, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to be the case.”

Specifically on striker Bamford he added: “No, he is not on the grass and probably we will see him before the end of the season.”

More bad news

The fans were hoping for some positive news after a devastating week that saw the club concede 10 times in back-to-back losses against Manchester United and Liverpool.

But instead, as so often this season, there is more bad news.

With the situation becoming somewhat critical it is more vital than ever to get the important injury absentees back into the fold.

The manager’s system is being picked apart currently as the back-up to star pair Bamford and Phillips have been unable to adequately pick up the slack.

After the 6-0 loss at Anfield the 66-year-old’s tactics have been called into question but the strict adherence to his principles seem to make a change impossible for the former Chile boss.

The ideal solution would be the return of probably the two most important operators within that set up and the hope was it would be soon.

But with the latest deflating update, it appears the club will have to wait even longer.

In other Leeds United news, the boss is reportedly sure to go in the summer even if that is into retirement.