By Noel Whelan

7th Dec, 2021 | 11:36am

Pundit 'massively worried' by multiple Leeds injury updates

The prospect of a spell on the sidelines for Leeds United stars Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper is a “massive worry” ahead of the festive period, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Whites striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the duo are “so important” to how the Yorkshire side set up.

Cooper, 30, limped off in the 15th minute as Leeds United rescued a late 2-2 home draw against Brentford on Sunday (5 December).

Phillips, 26, was also substituted in the 55th minute of the match after suffering a knock.

Speaking after Sunday’s game, as quoted by Leeds Live, manager Marcelo Bielsa said he didn’t know what “type of injuries they have nor how long they’re going to take to recover”.

When asked for his thoughts on the potential for a period on the sidelines for the duo, Whelan told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “It’s a massive worry.

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“One’s our club captain, and the other is invaluable to how we play.

“Having someone with the calibre of Kalvin Phillips out will be crucial to our competitive nature, our ability to go from back to front, and that calming influence on the ball.

“Hopefully it won’t be long term for Kalvin, it could just be a precaution.

“We can’t afford this, to be missing players like them over this Christmas period, they’re vitally important.”

Phillips has already missed two Leeds United games with a calf problem this season.

Captain Cooper had played every league minute for the Whites this term until his injury on Sunday.

In other news, new Leeds United untouchable is “one hell of a player” who’s “as important as Phillips and Raphinha”.