Pontus Jansson
Pontus Jansson was stretchered off during the first half of Leeds' 4-1 defeat to Cardiff at Elland Road Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Paul Heckingbottom looks set to be boosted by the swift return to fitness of Pontus Jansson for his first match in charge of Leeds United against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday (10 February).

Swedish centre-back Jansson was stretchered off after just half an hour of last weekend's heavy 4-1 home defeat to Cardiff City - the final game of Thomas Christiansen's eventful eight-month stint in charge - after sustaining a blow to the ankle during a painful collision with Sol Bamba.

The 26-year-old was therefore initially expected to be sidelined for the trip to Sheffield United, only for brother Peter to later suggest on Twitter that he would be ready after all.

Heckingbottom confirmed at Thorp Arch that Jansson had trained as usual on Thursday [8 February] and is evidently hoping to involve him tomorrow lunchtime with the likes of captain Liam Cooper and Conor Shaughnessy missing due to suspension and injury respectively.

"Pontus has trained, he's trained today so he's looked fine," he told reporters, as relayed by Leeds Live.

The former Barnsley boss, who could have opened his reign with just one available senior central defender in Everton loanee Matthew Pennington, added: "That's where the majority of the players missing are so if we can get him on the pitch, if we can get him involved on Saturday then it would be great.

"Because that is an area, when I came in and was looking at the available players, that is an area we were light so the sooner we can get defensive players back the better."

Tyler Roberts did not feature against Cardiff after joining Leeds from West Bromwich Albion for an initial £2.5m ($3.4m) fee on transfer deadline day, with Christiansen insisting that he would only begin training with the club this week following a knock.

Heckingbottom admitted that the Wales Under-21 striker - whom he tried to sign on loan for Barnsley - was still not fully fit and suggested that his potential involvement in Saturday's Yorkshire derby clash with the Blades depended on his status after a light training session.

"Still the same, he's still not 100% so we did a light session today and he was involved so we will see how he reacts after that," he said.

"Possibly [he could be involved this weekend], like I say we've got a lot to factor in. Not only that but for the long term as well. Tyler is someone I have seen play quite a lot, I spoke to his agent a number of times about taking him on loan myself.

"I know about Tyler but I'm also about making people better and people earning places in the team, earning the right to play and if people aren't ready, there's people training every day who are ready so we have to make sure one he is right to play and we can prove it while he work with him and secondly he deserves to play."

On midfielder Caleb Ekuban, sidelined since fracturing a bone in his foot against QPR in December, Heckingbottom added: "Yeah similar as well, he's been on the pitch, been on the grass with us, he's had a few weeks out. Same sort of assessment."