Noel Whelan believes Leeds United captain Liam Cooper’s latest injury concern is more worrying because he is only just recovered from a calf concern.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds striker and boyhood Whites fan delivered his verdict after the defender withdrew from the Scotland squad.

The Athletic reporter Phil Hay revealed that the 29-year-old has returned to Thorp Arch to be assessed along with fellow defender Diego Llorente who picked up an injury while playing for Spain last week.

Cooper missed Leeds’ opening day defeat to Liverpool in September with a calf injury he suffered while also playing for Scotland.

He has started all three of their games since, helping the Yorkshire giants record one clean sheet in the process and pick up seven points from a possible nine.

Whelan told Football Insider“That is the worry for any manager, for any club, is injuries to your players while their away on international duty.

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“We’re talking about Liam Cooper but he’s not had much game time yet. He’s just come back from injury and picked up another niggle – that’s worrying.

Leeds United captain

“Liam, we’re a little bit more concerned about right now because when you’ve had one injury come back and played football matches at a very high intensity and then traveling on international duty it takes a lot out of your body.

“To pick up that niggle and that injury to keep him out of Wednesday’s game you’re hoping it’s not going to be as serious and he’s just being protected for his club.”

In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can exclusively REVEAL that the Whites are working on signing a Derby County sensation in a beat-the-deadline deal.