Loanees disposed of by Leeds United last summer may yet have a part to play in solving this injury crisis ripping through the squad.
Marcelo Bielsa confirmed Daniel James and Jamie Shackleton are the latest additions to the bulging treatment list at Thorp Arch on Thursday afternoon.
When you add Junior Firpo’s suspension for Saturday’s Arsenal clash, that leaves Bielsa with 10 senior professionals with any degree of substantial experience to choose from, including one without game time for four months.
The Whites do have another 10 footballers under contract, but they were shipped out on loan away from Elland Road last summer.
Those players were sent away because they were generally not good to make an impression on the existing squad, but when the bodies are stacking up in Rob Price’s medical room, needs must.
As with Bielsa’s stance on new transfers into Elland Road, the head coach has said he will welcome back those loanees with a break clause in their contract, assuming they sufficiently improved during their time away.
“Every player that’s on loan that can be recovered and that they’ve manifested in these six months that have gone past their competitive level is similar to that of the players we possess at the moment,” he said.
“If all of that came to be, we would try to recover that player, but for that to happen with players who have gone out on loan, it’s because I understood, and the club accompanied my idea, the players we kept were in better conditions than the ones we loaned out to resolve our needs.
“So, what we have to verify is if there’s been an evolution in them outside the club, that allows us to see that proportion has changed.”
Mateusz Bogusz, Elia Caprile, Kiko Casilla, Helder Costa, Leif Davis, Laurens De Bock, Ryan Edmondson, Alfie McCalmont, Ian Poveda and Kun Temenuzhkov were those sent out on temporary deals this season.
The goalkeeping department is one of the few areas unaffected up to now, negating any cause for Caprile or Casilla to return.
De Bock has effectively left the club permanently already with his contract expiring next summer.
Edmondson has failed to make an impression with League One Fleetwood Town and is unlikely to have shown the evolution Bielsa wants to see.
Poveda has a long-term injury, while Temenuzhkov has not caught the eye in the lower reaches of Spanish football.
Bogusz, Davis and McCalmont are the three who have produced positive reviews during their loan spells, but it remains to be seen whether Bielsa feels any of them have shown enough for Bielsa to believe they are better than what Leeds already have in the building, assuming they even have break clauses in their deals.