By Ben Dinnery

8th Dec, 2021 | 8:30pm

Medical expert: Phillips has suffered 'extensive muscle damage' and injury is worse than first feared

Marcelo Bielsa’s intense demands at Leeds United could delay Kalvin Phillips’ return from injury.

That is the view of injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries website and has a background in medicine and data analysis.

As reported by the Telegraph on Wednesday (8 December), Phillips could be out until February with the hamstring injury suffered against Brentford.

The 26-year-old hobbled off before the hour mark after appearing to suffer discomfort in his calf.

Dinnery suggested the initial reports on the injury point towards a grade two tear.

However, he admitted Bielsa’s demands could push the approximate six-to-eight week comeback date back.

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Dinnery told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “We’re talking extensive muscle fibre damage there. Grade two, a minimum of 50 per cent, typically, of that muscle fibre damaged.

“Is it worst-case scenario? What we know of the player, he tends to heal fairly quickly, heal well.

“But we keep on banging this drum; you almost have player fitness, able to return to play and then you also have Marcelo Bielsa murderball fitness. The two are sort of completely different things.

“Being ready to play top-level Premier League football is one thing. Coming into a Marcelo Bielsa team where the expectation is that you’re going to be covering greater distances at greater intensities for longer periods, that’s something to be considered.

“We do know Marcelo Bielsa is a coach that doesn’t like to cut corners. He will not generally take any risks with these players.

“Maybe from what we understand, six to possibly eight weeks for a grade two. That is high end, that is serious.”

Phillips also suffered a calf injury earlier this season.

He has played a total of 15 times across all competitions so far.

In other news, Leeds United are preparing fans for Marcelo Bielsa’s exit as a manager shortlist is compiled.