Long Term Bakke Blow

Last updated : 06 August 2003 By Kevin Markey
The Norwegian international was advised by Leeds to rest during the summer after suffering a knee problem in the latter half of last season, but ended up playing for Norway in their European Championship qualifying games against Denmark and Romania, and in a friendly against Finland.

Maybe we should have said it in Norwegian!

The 25-year-old midfielder is now suffering from patella tendonitis and is unable to train.

"I'm going to have some tests in Oslo on Tuesday but the doctors in Leeds have already said that it is 'jumper's knee'," Bakke told Norwegian newspaper VG.

"I've had the injury since March and I've put too much pressure on it as I wanted to play the Euro 2004 qualification games this summer," Bakke added.

Norway coach Nils Johan Semb was upset at the loss of a key member of his squad, with the Norwegians battling to top European Championship qualifying Group 2 and book a place at next summer's finals in Portugal.

"It is sad, both for Eirik and the national team," said Semb.

However, Leeds had informed both Bakke and the Norwegian FA that he must rest over the summer, and the club will seek compensation if he is required to have an operation on the injury. Bakke will also travel to see a specialist in the United States to see if an operation is necessary.

"He was advised to rest in the summer but by not doing this it has led to this problem now," commented United physio Dave Hancock on the official Leeds website.

Gary Kelly granted Leeds a similar request before the Republic of Ireland's games against Albania and Georgia.

Bakke has made just one brief appearance as a substitute against York this pre-season.

He may not be the best midfielder around, but he’s done a useful job for us in the past couple of seasons. It’s another club v country situation and it looks like we need reinforcements again.