Leeds United winger Jack Clarke has revealed he “loved” playing in the defeat to Sheffield United after being sidelined due to his mystery layoff.

The wide man returned to action after being stretchered off the bench early in February, missing six games for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

After coming off the bench against the Blades, unable to stop his team from succumbing to a 1-0 loss to their promotion rivals, Clarke admitted he was delighted to be back out on the pitch.

He told LUTV: I love coming back in even after a week off. I just love coming back in and being around the lads and being involved.

“I’ve been in the gym when I felt like I could train and play because obviously I haven’t got a muscular injury or anything, so I feel like I could have played, could have trained, but I’ve just not been able to. It was hard to be honest, watching the lads play and do well and not being as involved as I want to be. It was difficult.

“I loved it (returning v Sheffield United). Obviously taking the result out of the equation, because it wasn’t what we wanted from the game. But I loved being back involved, loved being back in front of the fans at Elland Road and just loved to be back playing.”

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Football Insider verdict:

Some things are bigger than football and the health and safety of the players, fans and everyone else involved is one of those. It was seriously worrying for Leeds fans to see Clarke head to hospital after collapsing in February and they would have been just as delighted as the player was to see him back out on the pitch versus Sheffield United. His comeback means there is a silver lining to the bitterly disappointing defeat and there will be hopes from all parties at Elland Road that he can make a difference in the final eight games of the season. His talents have been crucial to the success of the Whites so far and if he can hit top form once again then the likes of Sheffield United and Norwich had best keep a close eye in the mirrors in this final stretch of fixtures. Clarke is the future of Leeds United but he could write his name into history if he can secure the club a return to the Premier League.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED a huge agent windfall is imminent as Elland Road centre-forward edges close to permanent transfer.