Leeds United striker Rodrigo has suggested he may return from injury earlier than expected in an interview with Leeds Live.
The 31-year-old picked up an ankle injury during Leeds’ 3-1 FA Cup win over Accrington Stanley in late January, and was initially slated to be out of action for two months.
Now, Rodrigo believes his recovery is going “better than [he] expected” and has provided a new time-frame for a potential return.
The early return of their top goal scorer this season – who has netted 12 times in 21 appearances in all competitions – would prove a massive boost for the Whites as they seek to stave off relegation.
“Things are progressing better than I expected, to be honest. We are trying to shorten the recovery period,” Rodrigo said.
“I’m happy for that. Injuries are always a frustrating moment for a football player, but I understand that’s part of football as well. I’m trying to do everything I can to be back as soon as possible.
“I expect to be back before the international break. When I got the injury, they said probably I will be back just after the international break, but things are progressing better than we always expected.
“I hope I can be available for the games before the international break, but let’s see. We can’t confirm because it depends on my progression from now to the next two or three weeks, but if I keep this progression, I think I will be available before [the break].”
Were Rodrigo to be fit before the break, he would be available for when Leeds face Wolves at Molineux on 18th March, before a trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal on 1st April.
A return would be massive, but exercise caution
With Rodrigo having his best season for the Whites by far this year, it was incredibly disappointing to see him pick up a bad injury against Accrington. He has produced moments of quality at a consistent rate, and it doesn’t even bear thinking about where we’d be in the league without his goals.
While it would be great to get him back firing for what could be another crucial match against Wolves, he should not be rushed back.
After all, we all saw what rushing the injured Patrick Bamford back into action too soon last season – also at Molineux – did to his recovery.
There is enough individual quality up front already without Rodrigo for new boss Javi Gracia to work with, but an early return for the Spaniard would be a massive boost.