Leeds United are confident striker Patrick Bamford will return for a key part of the season after ascertaining the extent of the forward’s knee injury.
United’s £7m striker is facing four months out with knee ligament damage suffered in Friday’s Under-23s game between Leeds and Bristol City at Elland Road.
Bamford limped off during the first half of the 5-0 win and was sent for a series of scans and assessments over the weekend. Further tests on Monday revealed an injury to his posterior cruciate ligament, a problem that could potentially have ended his season a month after his arrival from Middlesbrough.
But Leeds are hopeful the 25-year-old will return by the end of the year and director of football Victor Orta insisted the club were confident Bamford would have an important part to play during the second half of the 2018-19 campaign.
“This is clearly disappointing news for Patrick and everyone connected with Leeds,” said Orta.
“Patrick has settled in well, quickly becoming an important player for [head coach]Marcelo Bielsa and a popular part of the group.
“We have an excellent medical team at the club and Patrick is in the best possible hands. He will be back available to us during an important part of the season and he will still play an important role.”
Leeds’s head of medicine and performance Rob Price, brought in over the summer, is a specialist with a reputation for ensuring the quick return of injured players.
Price said: “Patrick is a very fit footballer and whilst this is a setback we’ve spoken to some of the best consultants in the country to make the correct diagnosis quickly. My team will work with Patrick to get him back involved with the first team as quickly as possible.”
Leeds spent heavily on Bamford six weeks ago, making him their most expensive signing since Robbie Fowler in 2001.
Patrick is a very fit footballer and whilst this is a setback, we’ve spoken to some of the best consultants in the country to make the correct diagnosis quickly.Rob Price
He came onto the club’s radar towards the end of the transfer window after prior negotiations with Abel Hernandez and Matej Vydra fell through.
But the sparkling form of August’s Championship player of the month Kemar Roofe has meant that Bamford is still awaiting his first league start and the striker was one of a number of senior players used in Friday’s development-squad match.