Rob Price, the head of medicine at Leeds united has provided an update on Stuart Dallas’ return over a long term injury

Rob Price, the head of medicine and performance at Leeds United, provided an update on Stuart Dallas rehabilitation as he continues to make progress in his long-term injury recovery.

Rob Price, the head of medicine and performance at Leeds United, has given a thorough account of Stuart Dallas’ recovery from the strange accident that has kept him out of action for 16 months so far. During a clash with Jack Grealish during the crushing home loss to Manchester City in April 2022, the Whites’ promotion hero shattered his femur.

Dallas hasn’t played for the team since, during which time the Whites were relegated and went through three managers. The 32-year-old Northern Ireland international has taken the ‘next step’ in his rehabilitation process by reuniting with his teammates in training, albeit it seems unlikely that he will play again anytime soon.

There have been unsubstantiated rumours about Dallas perhaps retiring as a result of the lack of consistent updates on his rehabilitation and the seriousness of his injuries. These ‘annoying’ notions have been disregarded by Price, who has instead offered an intriguing look at Dallas’ journey since that critical day.

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I don’t think anyone has ever coped with the injury that Stu had, he said, according to the Official Leeds United Podcast. We’ve been relatively quiet about it, so I asked Stu in a conversation earlier today how much you want me to mention.

“We freed the essentials and continued the treatment. I believe he has reached this point, but it must be made clear that he is still through rehabilitation; joining the training group does not imply that he is eligible for selection to the team.“We still need to increase the amount of training. Since this is the first time he has had other players around him, there is a different intensity, feel, and set of senses that come with that, but the process is still ongoing.

Looking back on that day, it seemed to be permanently etched in our memories: “He and Jack Grealish just had a clash of knees, and we knew it was incredibly significant because it was the first time I had ever witnessed Stuart Dallas remain on the ground while holding anything. He’s perhaps one of the toughest athletes we’ve ever encountered; a few years back, he missed two days of play due to a foot fracture.

“He’s that kind of player, and he’s got the ability to block out pain and carry on which is probably why he did so many consecutive appearances under Marcelo [Bielsa]. We knew it was serious, we got him back in the dressing room and straight away and told him we think you’ve fractured just around your knee.”

The concerns of United’s medical staff were soon confirmed following x-rays at Leeds General Infirmary, and a seven-and-a-half hour surgery in London followed. Even at this stage, Dallas and Price were aware the recovery could take as long as two years, and an infection in his knee after Christmas last year affected their initial timescale.

Price said: “We were aware that eventually some of the screws holding the fracture together would need to be removed. We went ahead and accomplished it, and shortly after Christmas he ended up developing a knee infection, which is usual after extensive surgery.

“That doesn’t represent a setback or anything else; it only slightly extends the time you have to return. We couldn’t advance him too much and continue with him from there in January, February, and March because it was simply one of those things that happened.

“He’s made steady progress, and I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the staff who have worked closely with him. It’s still part of the process, and he’s still got a bit of a way to go.”

Daniel Farke’s side have record two wins in their last three matches following a slow start to life in Championship, and Dallas will no doubt be keen to assist their promotion bid sooner rather than later. It is likely still a matter of months before the full-back is considered for selection, but the latest milestone in his recovery was still celebrated within the squad.

He’s one of the biggest characters and kindest men in the squad who everyone respects and loves, Price said, so the players who are on recovery walked out and gave him a little pat on the back as he was rushing out to train. So it was nice to see him back on the pitch today, but I don’t think anyone will be truly satisfied until he is named to one of the teams.

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