Paul Lambert has insisted there’s nothing untoward about Helder Costa’s absence from the team, as it was revealed forgotten man Joe Mason may play again this season.
Costa has missed Wolves’ last four matches after limping out of the warm-up with an ankle problem before the win over Nottingham Forest.
There have been suggestions that 23-year-old £13million man Costa was conveniently being kept out of action ahead of a possible big-money summer exit.
But Lambert said a debilitating injury has prevented the winger from playing.
“The other day we thought he had a good chance of being fit for Leeds when he raised the tempo, but that’s when he felt it,” Lambert told the Express & Star.
“The scan came back and showed there was a bit of inflammation there. We have to treat him accordingly.
“He’s tried to come back, he’s been out there trying.
“I certainly hope he plays again this season, with the season he’s had as well. He’s been a massive part of what’s happened. So we’ll see what happens with the doctors and what they say. With a bit of luck he might be available for Saturday (against Blackburn), but that’s pre-empting it a few days before. Will he be fit? We’ll have to wait and see, but hopefully.”
Meanwhile Mason, out since January with a combination of hernia and hip problems, is nearing a first-team comeback.
The forward has only played 21 times this season, something Lambert wants to rectify in 2017/18.
Lambert added: “Joe’s doing all right. He’s had a really frustrating season, stop-start, stop-start.
“He’s got to have a season where he’s sustainable for 39, 40 games.
“Most players have to have that in their make-up. You can see he’s got great ability, it’s just keeping him fit to perform.
“The last week or so he’s been training and gradually building it up.
“We’ll see how he does this week. We’ve still got four games left so hopefully he’ll get some game time for the first team.”Subscribe to our Newsletter