Leeds reveal extent of injuries and it's not good news

09 Dec 2021 12:10 pm, by YorkshireSquare

With Robin Koch back in training, Pascal Struijk close to fitness, Luke Ayling returning to the first team and Patrick Bamford making the bench against Brentford on Sunday, there was a small period of time when Marcelo Bielsa had practically a full squad to choose from. But that would come to an end after just 15 minutes of the came as Liam Cooper hobbled from the pitch. The situation would get worse just before the hour mark as Kalvin Phillips, usually one to brush off knocks with ease, also departed the field. The initial news on the injuries wasn’t good and it just seems to have got worse as the week has gone on with Leeds now having 6 players on the treatment table.

At the back, Liam Cooper picked up a hamstring strain, an injury which could keep him out for between three and nine weeks. Cooper undergone treatment and the club's medical staff will structure the next steps in his recovery. It sounds like it could be a lengthy lay off. Robin Koch has overcome his pelvic injury, but has been ill for the last 10 days and will resume training again at the weekend. With a 10 day ‘illness’ it could be Covid related, another setback in his lengthy return to fitness. Pascal Struijk is thought to have recovered enough from his hip injury to be available on Saturday.

Kalvin Phillips, like Liam Cooper, picked up a hamstring injury against Brentford. Football injury Ben Dinnery who runs the Premier Injuries website and has a background in medicine and data analysis says optimistically Phillips could be looking at six to eight weeks on the side-lines. But player fitness and Marcelo Bielsa murderball fitness are two completely different things. That said Kalvin Phillips usually recovers quickly with Marcelo Bielsa willing to put him in the side ahead of when other players would return. Bielsa also hinted that they may use this lay off to send Phillips for surgery on his shoulder after the injury he sustained against West Brom at the end of last season.

Up front Marcelo Bielsa’s options are very limited. Patrick Bamford suffered a hamstring injury during his last-minute goal celebration against Brentford at Elland Road. last Sunday. The evolution of the injury is subject to daily assessment but he could be facing a few weeks on the side-lines. Record signing Rodrigo has also been suffering from bilateral heel pain for some time. The player and medical staff have deemed it necessary to reduce his activity for the time being, in order to aid his long-term recovery.

With Leeds heading to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea this weekend, Marcelo Bielsa will have to shuffle his deck again. Pascal Struijk could be fit enough to start alongside Diego Llorente, he could call upon the services of youngster Charlie Cresswell or Luke Ayling could step inside again as he did last weekend. With Kalvin Phillips out, Adam Forshaw could fill in at defensive midfield with the ever versatile Stuart Dallas stepping back into midfield. Tyler Roberts will be filled with confidence following his goal and is likely to start up top, but could there be more game time for Joe Gelhardt?

Leeds United’s lean squad has always been a concern but with two (potentially three) players facing long layoffs, do Leeds need to consider bringing in reinforcements next month or are our talented youngsters good enough to step up during this difficult time?

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BGwhite wrote on 09 Dec 2021 07:39 pm

Leeds1000 wrote:Oh dear. Now we know why our £30m star has not been performing we bought him with a saw heel. Put your hands up if you are looking forward to seeing Creswell & Joffy more, possibly Bate and who knows even Jenkins may be trusted.

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Johnboy1965 wrote on 09 Dec 2021 07:11 pm

Not a disaster so long as the injuries don't last for more than the next four games which even with a full squad I doubt we would be getting any points.
Hope they heal quick and come back fresh ready for Villa.
In the meantime time for the players on the periphery to step up and take their chance.

Lumiukko wrote on 09 Dec 2021 05:08 pm

I feel OK relying on Drameh, Cresswell, Summerville, Gelhardt. Not so sure if we had to use 4 or 5 U23s at the same time, but as 1:1 options (maybe 2 in) I think we are fine. Certainly, we may have lost against these top teams in the forthcoming fixtures regardless of who we play, so I can only think that these U23s who get to play against some of the world's best players will both raise their games, and gain invaluable experience against premier level movement and skills. Sets us up nicely for January then.

I would also say Struijk has shown some versatility in the positions he's played. Of course he's still learning the DM and LB type positions, but he isn't a disaster at them either.

1964white wrote on 09 Dec 2021 04:50 pm

faaip wrote: Thu Dec 09, 2021 4:36 pm Well we won't know till they play, and if you go back and look at U23's that have started/played under Bielsa you'll notice they all play well as fill ins.. Even Leif Davis
You make a great point there, Faaip

Gelhardt looks ready-made imo, however in his three appearances Raphinha hasn't been on the park. Joe has not played alongside Ayling & Bamford or Phillips (in is DM role) too!

1964white wrote on 09 Dec 2021 04:39 pm

faaip wrote: Thu Dec 09, 2021 2:26 pm If you don't like players out of positions you need to reconsider all your Bielsa conclusions because you're not going to find it easy to play for him UNLESS you can play 2/3 different positions...

You appear to have turned from Bielsa is great to Bielsa is wrong ... How much longer til Bielsa must go ...
Apart from Phillips & Dallas whom have excelled in different positions, I'm not at all enamoured with the rest of our squad playing out of their natural position.

Bielsa has achieved great things at Leeds & I truly hope he continues to do so.

Marcelo leaves tomorrow & as a club we are in deeper trouble.

Does that answer your Beilsa question?