Leeds United centre-back Pascal Struijk won’t be able to progress to the next stage of his recovery for at least another week, but Dan James is back in contention for tomorrow night’s trip to former club Swansea City.
Leeds’ run of wins in the Championship continued at home to Rotherham United at the weekend with a very comfortable 3-0 win, seeing them keep pace with Southampton for the time being.
Up next is another gruelling long away trip, this time to South Wales with Swansea City the opponents.
Leeds team news: Daniel Farke issues Dan James update
Pascal Struijk’s absence since Boxing Day has been frustrating, as much as it has been relieved by the performances of Ethan Ampadu at the back.
Leeds’ captain for most of this season isn’t due back this week, though, with Daniel Farke sharing that it’s hard still to put an exact time frame on the Dutchman’s full recovery – as he spoke in his pre-match press conference (via the YEP):
“Difficult to say. I’d like to have a timeframe. We first spoke about one or two weeks and it’s now been two months. There is progress in his rehab but doctors haven’t allowed him to extend the load in training until February 20.
“This week he has done individual work and there will be an assessment next week. Hopefully we get a green light and he can also work with higher intensity.
“A late call on whether he will return before the next international break due to the length of injury.”
Sam Byram is also ruled out this week with a hamstring issue, but thankfully only a minor problem and is on the other leg to the one that has historically caused him headaches.
Jamie Shackleton is fit again but out due to personal reasons, while the Whites remain without Karl Darlow and Stuart Dallas.
Where will Leeds finish in 23/24?
Outside the playoffs
Dan James boost confirmed by Farke
There was good news in Farke’s presser, coming in the form of Dan James’ return to fitness over the weekend, seeing him back in contention for the trip to his former club Swansea City:
Struijk’s injury is becoming a real concern
As much as Ampadu is doing everything to make us forget about having Struijk out, it is a real worry that the centre-back is taking this long to get back to fitness.
What first seemed like a minor issue has become one virtually at two months, and Farke’s “international break” assessment doesn’t bode well.
That March break would take Struijk up to three months out, and that is a long time in a promotion race for a key figure to be out.