Danny Mills has admitted time may be catching up with Leeds United stalwart Pablo Hernandez.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the former Whites and England defender delivered his verdict after the Spaniard miss Leeds’ visit to Chelsea on Saturday.
The 35-year-old has not made a matchday squad for Leeds since reacting angrily to being substituted against Leicester City at the beginning of last month.
He apologised for his actions after being left out against Crystal Palace, but he missed their games against Arsenal and Everton with a muscular injury.
Marcelo Bielsa revealed before the trip to Stamford Bridge that Hernandez will likely feature for the Under-23s before being reintroduced to the first-team.
Tellingly, in a video released by the club on Friday, he was only seen doing indoor work and was not training outside with the rest of the squad.
“Time caught up with him a little bit last season,” Mills told Football Insider.
“There were times when he was out injured for periods and when he came back in it was off the bench.
“It happens to us all, unfortunately. As you enter the twilight of his career, injuries get harder to get over.
“The game isn’t slowing down in any way shape or form at the moment. The game is constantly getting quicker and quicker all the time.
“That’s just how it is, you have to deal with that accordingly.
“As you get to that age it does get harder and harder in those situations.”
Hernandez completed 90 minutes in the league on just 17 occasions last term as Leeds secured the Championship title.
This season he has started two Premier League games but was substituted just after the hour mark in both.
In other Leeds United news, Darren Bent has been left drooling over Bielsa’s plan for a yet-to-be-seen player.