'Big blow' - Exclusive: Bruce reacts as two Leeds stars now ruled out v Cardiff

Alex Bruce insists that losing Pablo Hernandez for Sunday’s clash against Cardiff City is a “big blow” for Leeds United.

The former Leeds and Hull defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has lauded the 35-year-old for his ability and admits his absence will be a bitter pill for Marcelo Bielsa to swallow.

The Argentine manager confirmed at his pre-match press conference that Hernandez would be missing as well as Jean-Kevin Augustin, who is working individually with the physios on his hamstring problem.

Having Hernandez pull the strings at Elland Road this season, Bruce insists that he is exactly what Leeds need to ensure promotion and that losing him will hurt their chances of success.

Bruce told Football Insider: “It will be a big blow, he’s a big player for them, he carries bags of experience for them as well.

“When you want to go for promotion with eight or nine games left, whatever it is, you need your experienced players to carry you over the line.

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“If he is injured and he has picked up an injury in training, it will be a big loss to them.”

Hernandez has played 28 times for Leeds in the Championship this season, chipping in with six goals and six assists.

He missed six games between September and October earlier in the campaign, with Leeds winning just two and failing to score more than once in each of those matches.

In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has revealed what he is worried about ahead of the club’s return to action.