Forgotten Leeds United striker Davide Somma is edging closer to a return to football having not played in over fifteen months.
Somma hasn`t played a competitive game for Leeds since the final day of the 2010/11 season at Queens Park Rangers.
He returned to pre-season training that summer on the back of a good first season in the first team at Elland Road, having netted 12 times in 33 appearances, with the vast majority of those from the bench.
The striker suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in a behind closed doors friendly that ruled him out until the turn of the year.
The South African international looked to be on his way back after Christmas before suffering a setback in March that ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
With so many injuries and one of his main strikers Ross McCormack looking at up to three months on the sidelines, Leeds boss Neil Warnock is looking forward to welcoming back Somma after he returned to some light training recently.
Speaking in theYorkshire Evening Post,Warnock said, “He`s doing a little bit more training now, not just straight line running.
“But it`s like anything. when you`ve not got (a striker) and you`re desperate for one, you only think of the good things about him.
“You don`t think that he hasn`t played for God-knows how long or how unfit he`ll be, irrespective of the training he`s done.
“I`ve got to be careful or the expectations on him will be massive but it would be great to have him in the squad, even on the bench for a 25-minute cameo – something to change a game, which I believe he can do.
“But I`ve not even thought about that yet. I asked about him two weeks ago and was told it was going to be four weeks before he started full training,
“By that reckoning it should be another four weeks before he`s having some sort of a game.”
With Ross McCormack out of the side, Warnock will be relying on Luciano Becchio to continue his early season scoring form.
The Argentinian has looked back to his best this season and he has netted seven times in eight appearances so far this season.
Youngster Dominic Poleon took his opportunity to stake a claim for a regular place in the side when he netted his first Leeds goal in his first start on Saturday. The 19 year old scored Leeds second goal in the 2-1 win over Forest.
Veteran striker Andy Gray also scored his first Leeds goal in midweek in the defeat to Hull following his arrival in the summer.
Warnock will be hoping that the trio can continue to be amongst the goals and help him avoid the temptation to try and rush the returning Somma back too soon after so long on the sidelines. “As frustrating as it is I`ve got to make sure that Davide is right.
“What I don`t want is to wait in anticipation and then lose him again for another six months.
“But we`ll get Davide back – sooner rather than later hopefully,” continued Warnock.
Somma signed for Leeds in 2009 after a successful trial with the club.
The then Leeds boss Simon Grayson sent Somma out on loan to gain experience and after a short spell with Chesterfield prior to Christmas, where he made three appearances, he had an highly successful spell with Lincoln City.
Somma scored nine times in fourteen appearances, helping Lincoln avoid relegation from the Football League.
The 27 year old carried that form into his first full season at Leeds. He scored twice on his championship debut as a second half substitute against Millwall and he scored again in his first start in Leeds next game against Leicester City.
He netted his seventh goal in nine appearances in the win at Middlesbrough in October before quickly been dropped to the bench by Grayson.
Despite being mainly used as a substitute he managed five goals in six championship games at the turn of the year, which included his last in a Leeds shirt in the 2-2 home draw with Norwich City.
Somma had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes before scoring a stunning volley from the edge of the area to earn Leeds a point.
He made just one start in his last ten appearances of the season but he still managed to finish the season as the clubs third highest scorer behind Becchio and Max Gradel.
After a horrendous start to the season for Leeds with injuries, everyone will be hoping that Somma can make a successful comeback and play a key part this season for Leeds.
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