By Danny Wright

18th Mar, 2018 | 12:18pm

Leeds handed yet another major defender injury blow - confirmed

Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom has confirmed that January signing Laurens De Bock is facing a prolonged spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

De Bock, 25, was not in the matchday squad when Leeds lost 2-1 to Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on Sunday and was replaced by academy product Tom Pearce at left-back.

The Belgian is yet another defender ruled out for the Whites, joining right-back Luke Ayling and captain Liam Cooper on the sidelines.

It’s a major blow for Leeds, who need as many of their first-team players free of injury to try and arrest this alarming slide down the Championship standings.

Heckingbottom’s woes are not helped by an injury to Samuel Saiz either, who has also suffered a hamstring injury but it is not as serious as De Bock’s.

“Him [Saiz] and Bocky [De Bock] have both got totally different hamstring injuries,” Heckingbottom said, as quoted by LeedsLive.

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He added: “Bocky’s slightly different,” Hekingbottom continued. “His is more damaging, he’ll be out for a while.”

Football Insider verdict

De Bock has not exactly hit the ground running at Elland Road but the left-back was no doubt a main part of the first-team. Vurnon Anita and now Pearce have been called upon to fill in at left-back and neither have exactly done a better job than De Bock. The Belgian had a nightmare against Derby last month and is probably not going to be a player who stays at Elland Road very long if performances do not improve. Leeds failed to replace Charlie Taylor in the summer and are really paying the price for that.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites have terminated this 24-year-old defender’s deal at the club.

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