Kevin Phillips claims Diego Llorente’s return from injury is a “big, big positive” for Leeds United this weekend.
However, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Sunderland and England striker said it would be a “big ask” for the 27-year-old to come straight back into the side for Sunday’s game against Burnley.
Cooper, 29, has been ruled out of Sunday’s clash against Burnley today after he suffered an abdominal strain in the 6-2 loss at Manchester United.
injury wise, Cooper has an abdominal strain and is out of the Burnley game. Llorente is available though. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) December 24, 2020
He joins fellow centre-backs Robin Koch and Gaetano Berardi in the injury room, the latter two expected to return to training in February.
However, Bielsa did provide a promising update on summer signing Diego Llorente with the Spanish defender “in condition to play again” after a near three-week spell on the sidelines.
Phillips fears it will be difficult for the Spain international to perform at his best after another long injury lay-off.
“Llorente’s return from injury is a big, big positive,” he told Football Insider.
“They have lost one defender but they have also gained one.
“It is going to be a big ask for him to come straight back into the side and perform. He will need time to get going again after such a long lay off with injury.”
Speaking ahead of the visit of Burnley, Bielsa said: “Cooper has a strain in his abdominals. That is subject to his evolution.
“Llorente is in conditions to play again.”