Michael O’Neill has stated that Stuart Dallas, a defender for Leeds United, won’t be ready to play for Northern Ireland during the March international break.
The 32-year-old full-back shattered his femur during a Premier League match against Manchester early in 2022, and he hasn’t played for the Whites since. He has only lately started to resume first-team training at Thorp Arch.
While Dallas has been gradually increasing his level of fitness in the hopes of making his Elland Road debut for Daniel Farke, Northern Ireland manager O’Neill has provided an update on his health, implying that a comeback to the national team is still some distance off.
As stated on Friday, February 9 in the Belfast Telegraph, he stated: “That would be a stretch.” We are approaching the halfway point of February, and neither athlete is currently close to their first team, so I believe it would be a difficult battle for both lads.
“The fact that they are returning in March doesn’t really matter. The most crucial thing is that they are healthy and back on the field for their clubs, since we can be certain that they will return to action for us at that point.
“We just need to be patient,” said Stuart and Corry Evans, who are both with their clubs. “They are not back in terms of full training or back in their matchday squads.”
Stuart Dallas could end up at Leeds United.
Dallas’ path to recovery from Leeds United has been a long and agonizing one, and one must now question if Elland path supporters will ever see the defender don a white shirt again.
After almost two years since he last played for the Whites, the 32-year-old’s contract is up at the end of the current campaign. In his current state, Leeds cannot afford to offer him a new contract.
During his time at Elland Road, Farke let players like Adam Forshaw and Luke Ayling go because he was keen to rejuvenate and reenergize his team. With Dallas, he may well do the same.
Dallas may be able to accelerate his recuperation and be available for the Whites after the March international break, but Leeds fans may not be able to see him play for at least the next month.
In unrelated Leeds United news, Simon Jordan recently sent a message to Crystal Palace supporters, using the Whites as an example.