Leeds duo Kalvin Phillips & Liam Cooper are ruled out until March

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Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that the influential couple Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper will be out of action until March due to respective hamstring injuries.

Phillips, who is England’s 2021 England player, has not played since December 5 due to the problem he suffered in a 2-2 draw against Brentford.

Club captain Cooper was also forced out of that match almost a month ago.

Leeds have lost all three matches since then against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal, with other matches against Liverpool and Aston Villa postponed.

Bielsa delivered a team news update ahead of meeting Burnley at home on Sunday and confirmed that some Leeds players are starting to become available – but Phillips and Cooper are not among them.

“We have recovered players, although Phillips and Cooper will return in March,” he explained.

“No, that’s what we expect,” he added when asked if March would be the worst-case scenario.

“Although [Jamie] Shackleton returns in late January, [or] in early february, the number of players we have will increase. We will see where we are in January if an alternative emerges that we take advantage of. ”

Patrick Bamford is now available but Bielsa is worried that the striker lacks fitness. He has been ruled out since the Brentford game with a hamstring injury, having managed just 22 minutes on his comeback from an ankle problem that had ruled him out since September.

“Patrick is healthy but he has not played in four weeks now and there is doubt about the comfort of playing without having done any football training,” Bielsa explained.

Bamford’s absence has been a major reason for Leeds’ battle this season. His goals last term – 17 of them in the Premier League – made such a big difference, compared to when a blunt attack is better than just a handful of teams.

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