Leeds United defender Diego Llorente should not be risked against Wolves tonight, according to Kevin Phillips.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former European golden shoe winner delivered his verdict after Marcelo Bielsa revealed in his pre-Wolves press conference the Spain international was “available to play”.
Bielsa added: “Depending on the development in the next few games we will see when we use him. The needs of the first team will decide how much we use him.”
Llorente has played just twice for the Yorkshire giants since his summer move from Real Sociedad due to various injury problems.
The 27-year-old initially picked up a groin injury on international duty early on in the season which meant he did not make his debut until December.
He played over 80 minutes against Chelsea but then missed six games due to a reoccurrence of his groin problem.
After playing 45 minutes for the Under 23s Llorente was handed his first Leeds start against Newcastle United last month but limped off in the opening stages with a hamstring injury.
Asked how Bielsa should manage Llorente now he is back to full fitness, Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “Definitely don’t throw him straight back in.
“He’s broken down too many times now. They’re going to have to be very, very cautious with him. Definitely don’t chuck him back in.
“Of course they conceded four goals at Arsenal last week but that’s almost a one-off the way Arsenal carved them open.
“I would be very cautious with the player now and Bielsa is very experienced and will know that. I don’t see him chucking him straight back in.”
With Robin Koch, Kalvin Phillips and Gerterano Beradi all missing against Arsenal last week, Luke Ayling partnered captain Liam Cooper in defence with Pascal Struijk in midfield.