By support

7th Dec, 2016 | 8:12am

Monk gives fitness update on important Leeds player ahead of clash against Brighton

By Will Butcher

Liam Bridcutt is likely to remain sidelined for Leeds’ Championship clash against former side Brighton, despite returning to training.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, manager Garry Monk revealed that he will not rush his captain back into the starting eleven.

“I have to assess (Bridcutt) and have a good look at him,” Monk said. “He’s been out for a long period so I don’t want to make any mistakes by rushing him back too soon.

“He’s an important player and he’s needed. I’ll have a good look this week and I’m sure he’d be wanting to (play) but I’ll make sure I do the right thing.”

Bridcutt has been sidelined from first-team action after fracturing a bone in his foot back in September during Leeds EFL Cup triumph over Blackburn.

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Following three months on the sidelines, there had been hopes that the Chelsea youth player would return against his old employers Brighton in front of the television cameras.

However, Monk is unwilling to risk his summer signing ahead of the busy Christmas period.

Bridcutt played for Brighton for almost four years before joining Premier League outfit Sunderland in January 2014.

The 27-year-old made a total of 151 league and cup appearances for the Seagulls, as he developed a reputation of nullifying an opposition’s attack by marshalling the space in between defence and midfield.

Leeds have plenty of options available in the middle of the park, with highly-rated youngsters Kalvin Phillips and Ronaldo Vieira likely to be joined by Ireland international Eunan O’Kane.

In other Leeds team news, this reborn attacker has been named in the EFL Team of the Week after starring against Aston Villa.