Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa

Kevin Phillips is adamant Diego Llorente was rushed back from injury after the Leeds United defender suffered a fresh setback this week.

The former Sunderland and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested Marcelo Bielsa needs to look at the intensity of his training ahead of a busy festive period.

Marcelo Bielsa revealed on Wednesday that Llorente, 27, will be sidelined for “two to three weeks” with a muscle problem, just days after he recovered from a groin injury to make his debut at Chelsea.


The Spain international joins Robin Koch and Gaetano Berardi in the medical room at Leeds.

Koch and Berardi are not expected to return until February and March respectively as they both recover from knee surgery.

When asked by Football Insider for his thoughts on Llorente’s latest injury setback, Phillips said: “It is a clear sign that he was rushed back.

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“I was delighted to see Llorente in a Leeds shirt but then shortly after I’ve heard that he’s injured along with Koch.

“Another problem so soon after the groin injury suggests that he has been rushed back.

“The intensity Bielsa wants in training may also be a reason behind the setback. Big problems for Leeds in regards to injuries. It is something that needs to be looked at because we have the busy festive period coming up.

“It is a blow to lose them both and a big concern in Llorente as he has not got going in a Leeds shirt yet.”   

In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan backs teenager for first-team role after ‘massive’ development.