Medical expert Luke Ayling could be derailed next season after 'huge' Leeds United surgery news
Luke Ayling will almost certainly not be fit when Leeds United begin their 2022-23 campaign.
That is the view of injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in medicine and data analysis.
Ayling, 30, was an ever-present when fit in 2021-22 and captained the side when Liam Cooper was unavailable.
But the right-back underwent surgery and missed a large block of games with a knee injury between October and November last year.
As quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post last Friday (20 May), Jesse Marsch revealed that Ayling’s knee issues have forced him to go under the knife again.
The Whites boss claimed that he would be out of action for two to four months.
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Dinnery suggests that this will “hugely” disrupt his pre-season and the beginning of 2022-23.
“The first procedure was back in game week five,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“It was described as a minor surgery at the time, a little bit of a clean-up. It kept him out for just over two months.
“This suggests that this one is something a bit more thorough. It depends on the severity of the issue. It could be keyhole arthroscopic surgery, and that would be a partial meniscectomy or a meniscus repair.
“The club claimed that it would be around two to four months. That could impact hugely on his availability for the start of the new campaign. I’d be very surprised if he was available for the start of the season.
“The mechanism of injury was a tackle, possibly medial ligament. If it has been managed throughout the season, you would hope that it is to the lower end of the spectrum.”
Ayling scored two goals and laid on two assists in 28 appearances in all competitions in 2021-22.
He was absent as Leeds escaped relegation on the final day.