Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom has confirmed that Liam Cooper looks set to be ruled out of action long term with a leg injury picked up against Wolves in mid-week.
The Whites’ captain limped off against the league leaders in the 3-0 defeat at Elland Road, and was completely missing from the match day squad for the club’s clash against Reading on Saturday.
Now, Heckingbottom has revealed, via the personal Twitter account of journalist Phil Hay, that the 26-year-old is suffering from a swollen leg and that it is not yet known how long he will be out of action, although stated that he could well be missing from training for “a while”, with Andy Lonergan joining him in the treatment room after a setback in recovering from a neck injury.
Liam Cooper's swollen leg is going to keep him out for an extended period. Heckingbottom said he can't see him training for "a while". Andy Lonergan has suffered a reaction to his neck injury. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) March 10, 2018
Cooper’s absence will be a major bombshell to the manager and the squad, having been a mainstay with 30 appearances for the club this season.
Football Insider verdict
This is the news no Leeds fan wanted to hear. There was some doubt over just how serious Cooper’s injury was, and there would have been hope that he would be making a speedy recovery. Those hopes have been dashed, and it leaves Heckingbottom in a difficult position with just two natural senior centre backs at his disposal. Injury or suspension would be a huge blow and leave the boss experimenting with some other options at the heart of defence, adding further misery to an already disappointing campaign.
In other Leeds United news, fans tore into one man for his display in the clash v Reading.