By Ben Dinnery

13th Jan, 2022 | 7:00pm

Medical expert: 'Covid' could derail Gelhardt's recovery as Leeds return plan revealed

Joe Gelhardt should be back in training for Leeds United before the winter break – but his rehab could be derailed if he catches Covid.

That is the view of injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in medicine and data analysis.

Manager Marcelo Bielsa confirmed last Sunday (9 January) that Gelhardt had suffered an ankle injury in training, as per Leeds Live.

The 19-year-old centre-forward is likely to be out of action for “three to four weeks”, revealed the Argentine.

The Whites currently have no confirmed Covid cases and boast a 100 per cent vaccination rate among their squad and staff.

But Dinnery suggests that a positive test for Gelhardt himself or within Leeds’ ranks could throw a spanner in the works in terms of his recovery.

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“I believe his teammate fell on him and it was fairly innocuous,” he told Football Insider‘s Adam Williams.

“Most return to play timelines for this sort of injury aren’t set in stone. In the modern era, there are a lot of factors that can influence it.

“We’re assuming that over three to four weeks it will be relatively smooth and there won’t be any reactions or setbacks.

“You’d hope there are no problems with Covid and you still have access to the training ground.

“If you haven’t got access to the right therapy, that can have an impact. Staff now are pretty well-versed in working in this new environment, however.

“We could expect a return to the training pitch in and around the winter break. That would get him ready for the second half of the season.

“That’s more than realistic. But these things can change overnight.

“James Justin from Leicester is one player that was due back to play for the development side in early December.

“But we still haven’t seen him, all because of a positive Covid test that has had a knock-on effect.

“But at the moment, it all looks fairly good and there doesn’t look to be anything that will impact him too severely.”

Gelhardt is enjoying his breakthrough season at Elland Road.

The youngster has notched one goal and three assists in nine senior appearances this term.

In other news, Danny Mills suggests Andrea Radrizzani and 49ers at loggerheads at Leeds United after source’s transfer reveal.