Four Leeds United stars are racing against time to be passed fit for Sunday’s Premier League clash against Arsenal.
Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), Diego Llorente (groin), Rodrigo Moreno (illness) and Ezgjan Alioski (hamstring) must all prove to Marcelo Bielsa and his staff they are able to feature in the club’s first match in a fortnight.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Phillips, Llorente and Alioski are all injury doubts, while Rodrigo must show he is fully back up to speed physically after being forced to self-isolate following a positive Covid-19 test.
It would be a major boost for Bielsa to be able to call upon all four senior stars, who would all be starting XI contenders if fully fit.
Phillips has been absent for Leeds’ last three Premier League games with a shoulder injury, and was sorely missed in their 4-1 losses to Leicester City and Crystal Palace.
Rodrigo took to his personal Instagram account on Tuesday to confirm he had returned to training at Thorp Arch.
But Bielsa’s exacting fitness standards means the club-record signing may have to settle for a place on the bench rather than slot straight back into the XI.
Alioski returned to Leeds early from international duty after suffering a hamstring injury in training earlier this week.
To Leeds fans, in the post-match press conference moments ago, the NT coach said Alioski was not able to complete yesterday's training because he had swelling on his hamstring. Thus, he will not travel to Cyprus (where Armenia game will be played) and will instead return to Leeds
— Macedonian Football (@MacedonianFooty) November 15, 2020
Llorente has yet to make his debut for Leeds since signing in an £18million deal from Real Sociedad in late September.
He was an unused substitute for the 1-1 thriller against Man City but has missed the last four matches with a groin injury.