Garry Monk: I wish I had a body like this Leeds player
By Harry Sykes
Garry Monk has revealed that he wished he had a body like Charlie Taylor during his own playing career.
The Leeds left-back is on the comeback trail after returning to first-team training on Tuesday following two months on the sidelines with an achilles problem.
Taylor broke down in Leeds’ 2-1 win over Brentford on 17 December and reserve right-back Gaetano Berardi has stepped in to replace the 23-year-old at left-back.
Monk is now preparing to welcome Taylor back into the Leeds team and will closely assess the player at the club’s Thorp Arch training headquarters with a view to when he will make a competitive return.
“It’s an interesting one with Charlie because he is naturally probably the fittest or one of the fittest players in the squad,” said Monk, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
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“I’ve seen many players like that over the years where they can be out for a long period and not need too long to get back to it
“Of course, we need to make sure the programme is followed and we know where he is fitness-wise.
“But when he is back out on the pitches and into the football sessions we will have to assess him and see where we think he’s at and make judgement accordingly to that.
“What we can assume is that being in Charlie’s favour is naturally he is probably one of the fittest players in the league.
“He’s that type of body type – lucky for him – and I wish I had that when I was playing and coming out of a rehab situation.
“He will be fine and we will judge it accordingly when we see him back out on the pitches.”
Former defender Monk retired from playing in 2014 after a career in which he spent the last decade at Swansea, who he later managed to their highest ever league finish.
Leeds are now preparing for Saturday lunchtime’s Championship fixture against county rivals Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road, which pits fifth against sixth in the league.