By George Overhill

24th Jun, 2022 | 10:40am

Patrick Bamford fully recovered for Leeds United after nightmare year

Patrick Bamford has “fully recovered” from the nightmare run of injury problems he has suffered at Leeds United, according to The Athletic.

The key striker’s absence was badly felt as the Whites’ fight against relegation came down to the final day of the 2021/22 season.

But with pre-season soon to start the 28-year-old is ready to be involved from the start, with only a pair of players who are recovering from late-season surgery set to be missing.

Writing in his latest piece for The Athletic Phil Hay says: “Leeds will begin the new season without two injured players, Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas, but the majority of Marsch’s squad are in good shape for pre-season. 

“Patrick Bamford, who missed all but nine league matches through injury last term, has been going through a fitness programme during his holiday.

“He is continuing to work with James Scowcroft, the former Leicester City striker who has been involved with him as a finishing coach since Leeds’ promotion from the Championship in 2020.

“Bamford is fully recovered from the foot problem that hampered him from January onwards.”

At last

It may have been slightly overlooked as the transfer window took the headlines but the status of Bamford is just as key to Jesse Marsch’s chances of success as new arrivals.

He appeared to have recovered from fitness issues twice during the relegation-threatened campaign before being ruled out again by set backs.

With him out Tyler Roberts was given opportunities before suffering his own injury and Joe Gelhardt flashed quality, but physical complaints and hesitation from both Marcelo Bielsa and Marsch kept him from a sustained run, leaving winger Dan James to often fill the striking berth without a huge amount of success.

United have acted fast in the transfer market to address problems that plagued the team through the previous season.

Brenden Aaronson was followed by Rasmus Kristensen and Marc Roca but as yet an out-and-out forward hasn’t arrived.

One may still be bought with mooted interest in a number of targets on either side of the Atlantic, but if Bamford were able to return to full strength it would not be quite as necessary.

Him firing again would be a significant boost to this team but would be a risk to completely bank on his fitness holding after the false dawns that came before.

In other Leeds United news, officials were left baffled by what a rival top flight side did this week as one transfer saga entered a new phase.