An explanation for the absence of Patrick Bamford from Leeds United’s squad to face West Ham has been provided on Sunday afternoon.
Marcelo Bielsa’s troops are of course currently locked in action.
After the likes of Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Everton booked their respective spots in the competition’s 4th round over the course of the last 24 hours, the Whites followed suit in kicking their FA Cup campaign into gear a short time ago.
Leeds have made the trip to the London Stadium, for a testing showdown with Premier League rivals West Ham.
As things stand late in the first-half in the capital, the scoreline remains goalless, with David Moyes’ high-flying hosts having just about edged things.
— West Ham United (@WestHam) January 9, 2022
‘Hasn’t finished recovering’
As alluded to above, though, in the buildup to proceedings getting underway on Sunday, it was in fact not the clash itself which took centre stage in the pre-match chatter amongst the Leeds faithful.
Instead, all associated with the Peacocks were firmly focused on yet another key absence from the club’s matchday squad.
The player in question? Patrick Bamford.
With all of Tyler Roberts, Joe Gelhardt and Rodrigo sidelined, Bamford, fresh off the back of his own spell on the treatment table, was expected to mark his return to the pitch at the London Stadium.
In fact, just this past Friday, Marcelo Bielsa all but confirmed that his star attacker would be involved.
In turn, upon Bamford being completely omitted from Leeds’ panel of players for the day, the club’s boss was inevitably drawn on the situation during his pre-match media duties.
And Bielsa went on to confirm that:
‘He hasn’t finished recovering from his muscular problem.’
When pressed on how close Bamford is to match fitness, the Argentine, worryingly, added:
‘I couldn’t tell you.’
— Leeds United News (@LeedsUnitedYEP) January 9, 2022