By Tom Blackburn
New Leeds signing Pablo Hernandez is fit to be involved their Championship opener against QPR on Sunday but won’t be able to play a full 90 minutes.
He has been pencilled in for the No10 role in the first half of the campaign but Monk will not be able to call upon the Spain international for the entirety of the curtainraiser this weekend.
Well-connected Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Phil Hay revealed on his personal Twitter account that Hernandez has said in an interview to be published on Friday that he is not yet fully fit.
Interview with Pablo Hernandez in tomorrow's YEP. Says he's available for Sunday but probably short of match fitness to play 90 mins. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 4, 2016
Hernandez is the seventh summer signing of manager Garry Monk, who has also added Rob Green, Hadi Sacko, Marcus Antonsson, Kyle Bartley, Kemar Roofe and Matt Grimes.
Al-Arabi signed Hernandez from Swansea – a club where he played alongside Monk from 2012 to 2014 – but he spent most of last season in La Liga on loan at Rayo Vallecano.
Hernandez has spent most of his career playing as a winger but Monk views him as a natural No10 and he will be handed the playmaker role at Elland Road.
It will be a blow to the manager that the key man is not able to play the whole game against QPR at Loftus Road.
Hernandez spent two years in the Premier League after joining Swansea from Valencia for a then club-record fee of £5.5million.
Leeds ended their pre-season preparations with a win over Serie A side Atalanta and will now gear all their focus towards their opening Championship encounter with QPR.
In other Leeds transfer news, a £1million defender is set to leave Elland Road for Midlands outfit.