By Will Butcher
Garry Monk has revealed that Leeds captain Liam Bridcutt is to be ruled out for another two weeks.
The Scotland international has been sidelined for more than two months after fracturing a bone in his foot in the EFL Cup second-round tie against Blackburn.
Speaking ahead of Leeds’ Championship clash against Newcastle that is set to be played in front of a sell-out crowd, Monk revealed that his summer signing will not return until early December.
“The group is good in terms of injuries,”Monk revealed, as quoted by Leeds’ official Twitter account. “Liam Bridcutt is still out, but looking to be back on the pitches in the next 2 weeks.”
? @GarryMonk "The group is good in terms of injuries, Liam Bridcutt is still out, but looking to be back on the pitches in the next 2 weeks"
— Leeds United (@LUFC) November 18, 2016
It means that homegrown star Kalvin Phillips is likely to continue alongside Republic of Ireland international Eunan O’Kane in the middle of the park for Leeds against Newcastle.
Bridcutt signed permanently at Elland Road this summer after a summer-long transfer saga that saw a move from Sunderland almost become derailed.
However, the 27-year-old midfielder eventually penned a two-year deal after spending last season on loan at Elland Road.
The Chelsea academy graduate made just four appearances for the Yorkshire giants before picking up the injury, and is now set to continue his recovery for another fortnight before returning to the training ground.
A win for Monk’s side on Sunday could see Leeds move up to an incredible third position in the Championship table, but they will have their work cut out against Rafa Benitez’s North East outfit.
Football Insider verdict:
Captain, midfield enforcer and all-round solid citizen, Bridcutt will be much missed over the coming weeks. The delayed return of one of the most influential members of Leeds squad will make fans uneasy but Monk will not be reaching for the smelling salts quite yet. One positive is that the highly-rated Phillips can continue to enhance his growing reputation and demonstrate to manager Monk that he is a more than viable replacement for Bridcutt. Leeds’ number 27 has played an integral part of the side that has propelled from just above the relegation zone into the play-off places and it will be interesting to see if Bridcutt immediately displace Phillips when he eventually returns.
In other Leeds team news, Pontus Jansson has posted this message on Twitter ahead of their clash against Newcastle.