'Devastating' double blow: Two major injury setbacks for Leeds ahead of Fulham clash - confirmed
By Richard Parks
Adam Forshaw and Liam Cooper are facing lengthy spells on the sidelines in a “devastating” double blow for Leeds United, according to Paul Heckingbottom.
The United manager has explained to Leeds Live that central midfielder Forshaw has a long-standing calf injury that will keep him out “for a while”.
Scans have showed that centre-back and skipper Cooper has torn a thigh muscle after suffering a setback in training last week.
Both players have been ruled out of Tuesday night’s Championship clash against high-flying Fulham at Craven Cottage and are facing battles to play again this season.
“It’s his calf,” said Heckingbottom of Forshaw, as quoted by Leeds Live. “He did it in the Sheffield Wednesday game. It’s something that we were aware of when he signed.
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“When I came in I think he missed a couple of games, managed him through a few games, it was always there and it just got too painful after the Sheffield Wednesday game so yes, he’s going to be out for a while.”
Cooper has also suffered a shattering setback which is likely to have been a result of his desperation to recover from a dead leg he sustained in Leeds’ defeat to Wolves last month.
“So, Wednesday we did the press conference, then before I left we had to send him for a scan because he came from training reporting something and we found out he’s got a tear in his thigh,” Heckingbottom explained, as quoted by Leeds Live.
“It’s the same thigh, whether it’s related or not we’ll never know. Whether it’s him pushing himself to get back in contention, but obviously he’s devastated about it and I was when I got the phone call on Wednesday night.”
Football Insider verdict:
Given the nature of their injuries and the 1 April date, it is highly doubtful whether Forshaw and Cooper will play again this season. Indeed, Leeds’ position in the table means neither should break their neck to rush back into action. United are not going to get promoted, bar a miracle, and both players will be needed in top condition ahead of next season. Cooper is replaceable, and that might well happen in the summer window, but he is currently Leeds’ second best centre-back after Pontus Jansson. January signing Forshaw has made a huge impression since his £4.5million move from Middlesbrough and it is vital he is able to hit the ground running in pre-season with fitness and health fully restored.
In other Leeds United news, the club are working on a deal to sign an English centre-back who has been the best in the league this season.