By Ben Dinnery

21st Sep, 2021 | 4:48pm

Dinnery verdict on Ayling 'MCL' injury and how long Leeds star could be ruled out

Ben Dinnery fears Leeds United defender Luke Ayling could have sustained a medical collateral ligament injury.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the injury expects the right-back won’t be out “long-term” if it is a “tweak” rather than a partial or total tear.

Ayling, 30, joined the growing Leeds casualty list when he limped off at St James’ Park in Friday night’s 1-1 draw at Newcastle United with a minute of normal time running.

Marcelo Bielsa is quoted by the new Football Insider columnist Dinnery as saying he could be about to lose a fourth option at centre-back.

“It was his left knee,” Dinnery told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

“Could it be a serious one? What we do know about Luke Ayling is we’re talking about a player who is fairly robust.

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“He can tolerate the demands of the game. Last season he played all but 20 minutes in the Premier League.

“Ayling has high availability. We know he tends to not get injured and when you see a player who can’t continue, you worry it could be of concern.

“He couldn’t run it off. You would hope it’s a tweak of the ligament if it is the MCL (medial collateral ligament).

“That tends to be one of the most common areas of injury and they recover quite quickly. If it is slight we don’t expect it would keep him out long term.

“It could be that he’s gone for a scan so Leeds can be sure on what happened.”

Leeds are already without Diego Llorente and Robin Koch due to injury while Pascal Struijk has two matches to serve on a three-game suspension.

In other news, Leeds United set sights on signing “electrifying” player after talks held.