Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips has been ruled out for two months with a hamstring injury, while striker Patrick Bamford has also suffered a setback when he returned from an ankle problem.
Both players were injured in Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Brentford, where Bamford looked set to injure his own hamstring as he celebrated his equalizer in stoppage time at Elland Road.
While the striker faces about two weeks on the sidelines, Phillips is expected to be out much longer after pulling up shortly after halftime against Bees and heading straight down the tunnel.
Midfielder Liam Cooper also injured his hamstring in the same match, although the time frame for his absence is unclear at this stage.
According to The Telegraph, a first scan indicates that Phillips may be out until February, which is a big blow for Leeds, who have struggled with a number of injuries this season.
The English national team player recently missed two matches with a betting problem – which both whites did not manage to win. At the same time, Bamford and defender Luke Ayling only returned this weekend after being away since mid-September with ankle and knee injuries respectively.
German midfielder Robin Koch is a long-term absence for Marcelo Bielsa’s team and has not yet been involved at all this season.
The defensive injuries mean that Phillips has lined up in central defense sometimes this season, but Bielsa will now need to find protection for him in midfield. Adam Forshaw’s own recovery from a long-term injury and subsequent encouraging form should help.
When he spoke with 90min earlier in December, Phillips revealed that he had almost missed the European Championships 2020 with one shoulder out of joint.
“It’s supposed to be a 3-4 week injury and I somehow had to be fit enough for the first match, which the training staff at Leeds and England made possible,” he said.
“It’s probably the worst feeling I’ve ever felt, I had to drive all the way to Harrogate an hour away, just sitting in the back of the car with my shoulder dislocated.”
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