Leeds United employee issues '100%' verdict on Patrick Bamford return after Thorp Arch reveal
Noel Whelan has insisted Leeds United must be careful about bringing Patrick Bamford back from injury too soon.
The former Leeds striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he would rather not see the 28-year-old feature this season if he does not have to.
Speaking at his press conference on Thursday (28 April), Marsch revealed he “expects” Bamford to “be on the pitch next week” after returning from a plantar fascia injury.
Speaking earlier this month to Football Insider (4 April), Whelan claimed Leeds needed to “draw a line” under the striker this season and focus on getting him back for pre-season.
He suggested the Whites should still be wary despite Marsch’s “optimistic” assessment of a possible comeback.
Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Look, I’ve not changed my mind on that he’s got to be 100 per cent first. That is paramount for me.
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“We’ve got Gelhardt, Rodrigo, Sam Greenwood that are there filling the spaces and giving Jesse Marsch options.
“We don’t want to panic and bring him back too early again and then he’s out for most of pre-season recovering again. That’s not what Jesse Marsch wants, not what Leeds United wants, not what Patrick wants.
“He’s got to be 100 per cent. If he comes back before the end of the season, it’s an absolute bonus. Even if it’s just two games or one game, it’s an absolute bonus.
“It’d be fantastic to have him in those closing games. Hopefully, we’re not going to have to get to that point. Hopefully, we’ll get the job done beforehand and give us a little bit of breathing space so we don’t have to use him.
“We want to just sit back and get through the end of the season. Consolidate a fully fit Patrick Bamford for the next season. But look, we know what we’re in.
“Every hand on deck is needed. If he’s right then he will be welcomed back with open arms before the end of the season by everybody.”