Marcelo Bielsa makes Patrick Bamford injury admission amid praise for Leeds United squad - YEP 16/1/22

Marcelo Bielsa says that his Leeds United squad's willingness to play through the pain barrier may be a contributing factor to the club's injury woes.

By Joe Urquhart

Marcelo Bielsa says that his Leeds United squad's willingness to play through the pain barrier may be a contributing factor to the club's injury woes.

The Whites have faced an ever-growing injury list throughout their opening 19 games of the Premier League this term.

Leeds travel to West Ham for the second time in a week this afternoon without seven players, with another three touch and go for inclusion against the Hammers.

Bielsa is hopeful last season's top goalscorer Patrick Bamford will be fit in the capital while Pascal Struijk and Rodrigo are close to a return to top flight action.

Club captain Liam Cooper and England international Kalvin Phillips, though, are among the headline absentees for Leeds.

“Very happy," Bielsa said, when quizzed over if he had been impressed by his team's attitude in the face of injury adversity.

"When Bamford was injured against Newcastle, the injury was towards the end of the game and I asked Bamford to finish what was left of the game because we needed him and he did so and he collaborated with the team.

"Perhaps me asking him, that aggravated his injury. Rodrigo played for a long time with a knock which eventually forced him to stop and Dallas is a player that plays every week with something that another player would probably rule him out, Ayling the same, he always has difficulties in his knee that he has to overcome.

"And then after there are injuries like the one to Gelhardt which is ligament damage and there is no way for you to play and the same with Greenwood - if the joint in your knee is damaged you can’t play - or with Shackleton’s one where if your tendon is hurt you then you can’t play.

"With Cooper and Phillips it’s the structure of the fibre. Normally all the players have shown great character towards the injuries and all of the players have shortened their time of recovery.

"And there is also a dosage of luck in this.

"For example, Bamford’s injury is caused by an uncoordinated movement when he scored that goal and in the celebration he aggravates that small injury into something important.

"I think that perhaps the excess of character is what has jeopardised us.”

Asked about whether his insistence in Bamford finishing the game at Newcastle in September contributed more to his lengthy absence, Bielsa added: "I find it incredible that the anecdote only makes you ask this question.

"The answer is yes, it aggravated his injury. The injury was a lot worse due to my influence.

"Of course, this affirmation, I make it to favour their spirit of your question. We can't calculate that. We don't know if it aggravated it or not. It wasn't a muscular injury.

"But the significant thing of this, I answer a question about the character of the players and about the injuries that we have had that puts in judgement the character.

"The question was about the character of the players with regards to injuries and with my answer I am praising the players.

"The subject is touched on again in another way.

"Could it have been because I asked him to stay on that it got worse? The answer is yes, perhaps yes, from me asking this, it could have made it worse."

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