Phil Hay has admitted that the way Kalvin Phillips returns from injuries and performs straight away for Leeds United always impresses him.
It’s been a season of frustrations for Phillips, who underwent surgery to solve a hamstring problem he sustained last year, which saw him spend a prolonged period of time on the sidelines and unable to help his team fight against relegation.
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However, he started on Monday night for Leeds against Crystal Palace, which was his first since early December, and that will have been a huge boost for the England midfielder, Jesse Marsch and the entire Leeds fanbase – who’ll know how important he can be in their crucial run-in.
After spending several months on the sidelines, some players may have taken more than two substitute appearances before they were up to speed and starting, but not Phillips – something that was discussed by Hay on The Phil Hay Show.
Speaking before Leeds’ weekend defeat to Manchester City, he said: “The thing that always amazed me about Phillips was that you would see with Bielsa, if you had a player like Rodrigo coming back after a period out, it was like a slow taper, it was a slow climb to get him fit again.
“Whereas with Phillips, once he was fit, he was fit and he was back in the team, and he could almost switch it on [with a] click of the fingers.”
TIF Thoughts on Phillips…
Since Leeds made their return to the Premier League, Phillips has picked up three significant injuries that have seen him miss multiple games, but as Hay said, he seems to be right back to his best very quickly, something that must be praised.
This is impressive from a physical point of view, but even more so when considering the mental aspect of picking up injuries has on a player when they spend so long away from their teammates and the pitch, especially when the absences are prolonged ones such as during Phillips’ recent lay-off, so it only goes to prove what a top pro he is.