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27th Oct, 2016 | 1:49pm

Shattering Leeds blow as defender ruled out for 12 weeks - reliable journalist

By Will Butcher

Defender Lewie Coyle has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks after injuring his knee in Leeds’ win against Norwich on Tuesday night.

The right-back was forced off the pitch in the latter stages of normal time, leaving Leeds with 10 men in extra time of the League Cup clash that they dramatically won on penalties.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon, Monk was quoted by Yorkshire Evening Post’s Phil Hay on his personal Twitter account as saying that Coyle has damaged his medial knee ligaments and will be sidelined for between six and 12 weeks.

Coyle’s absence on Tuesday night failed to deter Leeds, who defied the odds to send Elland Road into euphoria by clinching a shootout win largely thanks to the heroics of Marco Silvestri.

But it is a shattering blow for Monk, who does not have the luxury of a large squad and Coyle, 21, is a regular member of the matchday squad.

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Leeds will now be forced to make do without the full-back for up to three months, starting with Saturday’s clash against Championship newcomers Burton Albion.

The return of Switzerland international Gaetano Berardi is likely to soften the blow against the Brewers, although Monk likely to start with Luke Ayling, who was rested in midweek, on the right side of Leeds’ defence.

A win for Monk’s side will see them continue their impressive form as they look to chase down the Championship’s top six.

Following last weekend’s 1-0 win away at Wolves, Leeds could move level on points with sixth placed Bristol City if they can beat Nigel Clough’s Burton at Elland Road on Saturday.

In other Leeds team news, Monk has given this verdict on Leeds tie against Liverpool in the quarter finals of the EFL Cup.