Javi Gracia has told Thursday’s press conference – as per the Leeds United YouTube channel – that Patrick Bamford has a calf injury and is unsure if the striker will be fit to travel to London to face Fulham, after missing Monday night.

Bamford, 29, has had a better run in the team after a couple of years in which he has suffered a number of injuries. He scored in the 5-1 loss to Palace, his third Premier League goal of 2022-23. But he was absent against Liverpool.

The one-time England star has started nine of our last 14 League games – used as a sub in three other games. He missed the 1-0 loss to Chelsea, and then Liverpool on Monday. Now, it remains unclear if he will play on Saturday.

Having missed Liverpool, Gracia was asked about Bamford’s availability to play against Fulham. He says that he is unsure if the striker will be available, but confirmed that he could return to the squad – and he has a calf problem.

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“We have to wait until the end. He is training. In this moment, I don’t know he is ready for Saturday. It was his calf,” Gracia told his press conference. If unavailable, it is likely that Rodrigo retains his place for the trip to West London.

Gracia says Bamford has a calf injury and unsure if he will face Fulham

Leeds need their best players fit and when Bamford is on it, he is our best striker. Rodrigo’s goals have been crucial for Leeds this season, but he cannot hold the ball up as well as Rodrigo. Bamford can dictate two centre-backs.

But if Bamford is not 100%, then Rodrigo should start. Bamford often becomes ineffective and it has become more apparent that when he is not wholly fit, he is not at his best. Rodrigo is probably the best option up top on Saturday.

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