Darren Bent admits that Kalvin Phillips’ injury blow is a major worry for Leeds United ahead of their clash with Middlesbrough.
The former Aston Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes it will be touch-and-go over whether the 24-year-old will be able to feature at the Riverside.
Phillips was forced off after 37 minutes in the 1-0 win over Reading on Saturday, the midfielder confirming after the game that he had suffered a dead calf.
However, having suffered similar injuries during his career, Bent says it can be an uncertain period of recovery, especially in the days following the blow.
“It’s a big, big concern, it’s a big blow, he’s so influential,” Bent told Football Insider.
“I know he toes the line sometimes but he’s such an influential player, he covers ground, keeps the ball, senses danger and it’s about keeping him fit, especially with this important push, they need him fit.
“Dead legs were always the worst, for the first day you’re thinking to yourself: ‘I can’t walk here, I’m never going to be able to play, I’m not going to be ready!’ After day two, if you go on the bike, it does ease up fairly quickly.
“Obviously when you do first do it, you’re like: ‘That’s it, I’m out for a week, I can’t play with this.’ As you take your anti-inflammatories, get yourself moving, get on the bike, it does ease up. You’ve got to ice it, get it down.”
Phillips has been a mainstay for Bielsa this season, with 33 appearances across all competitions so far.
He has just over three days to recover from the setback, with Leeds visiting Boro on Wednesday night.
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