Leeds United: Rodrigo feeling 100 per cent but full of sympathy for Patrick Bamford

Rodrigo has spoken about the “terrible pain” which held back the first half of his season and is now hampering his Leeds United team-mate Patrick Bamford.

The Spanish forward has struggled for rhythm since joining from Valencia in the summer of 2021, held back by injuries and Covid-19.

But new coach Jesse Marsch has made the 31-year-old part of his “leadership council” of senior players and Rodrigo has responded with goals in the last two matches, both dramatic wins.

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Rodrigo was left out of the XI for eight matches either side of the new year to recover from a bilateral heel problem he says is similar to the problem which took Bamford off injured in only his second start of the calendar year last week.

Leeds United's Rodrigo celebrates at full time against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“It was a really bad moment for me because it’s a terrible pain,” said the forward, whose return to form has not been sufficient to put him in the latest Spain squad.

“This problem in my feet started in pre-season more or less, in the middle of pre-season and was getting worse week by week, it’s really painful. I felt really uncomfortable and played with pain for a long time until I couldn’t manage the pain any more.

“I had to stop for six weeks more or less.

“I think it’s more or less what Pat has now and I completely understand what he feels because it’s really painful.”

Leeds United's Patrick Bamford injury concerns after pulling up against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux Picture Bruce Rollinson

For those frustrated by Rodrigo’s form this season, the injury provides some context.

“At this level, one per cent is a big gap and when you feel something of course you can train, you can play but not at the peak level of your performance,” he argued.

“Sometimes we try to manage the pain, with treatment and medication but it creates a limitation on the performance.

“It was important for me after the international break that I had to stop because I couldn’t manage the pain any more.

“I remember the game against Brighton (in November), the last 10 or 15 minutes I was literally walking on the pitch because I couldn’t run any more.

“I’m feeling really well now, I have for a few weeks, 100 per cent.”