Pablo Hernandez is out of the Leeds United clash against Birmingham City today with a hamstring injury, Football Insider understands.
The Spaniard, 34, was expected to make his United comeback after Marcelo Bielsa revealed at his media conference on Thursday that he was fit and ready to return.
But he was a shock omission from the Leeds squad announced at 2pm for the Elland Road centenary clash versus Pep Clotet’s visiting side.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Hernandez suffered a hamstring strain when returning for the Under-23s in their development clash against Birmingham yesterday.
The attacking midfielder lasted 30 minutes before he was replaced by Jordan Stevens.
Many saw that as a clear sign that Hernandez was being saved for today’s Elland Road showdown, most possibly as a substitute.
He had missed Leeds’ three Championship matches before the international break with a muscular injury and had been sorely missed, with the side losing two of those matches.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Bielsa told LeedsLive: “Pablo is going to be inside the group. Pablo always has an impact on our team.”
Hernandez had started Leeds’ first eight Championship matches of the season before injury struck.
Since signing for United in the summer of 2016, initially on loan, he has scored 29 goals and supplied 32 assists in 130 matches and won the last two club player of the year awards.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are plotting a swoop for a multiple player-of-the-year winner.