Noel Whelan admits he is bitterly disappointed to hear that Leeds United midfielder Jamie Shackleton has been ruled out of action with a fresh injury blow at Elland Road.

The former Leeds striker and lifelong fan at Elland Road, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says there is “nothing worse” than niggling injuries which hamper a player’s recovery, suggesting a major injury problem would be easier to come back from.

Shackleton was confirmed by manager Marcelo Bielsa to be missing for Saturday’s home tie against Blackburn Rovers, the Argentine revealing it was a different muscular problem to the one he has been dealing with over the last couple of weeks.

Whelan admits it is frustrating for the youngster to keep picking up problems here and there and says the international break might be exactly what he needs to fully recover.

Whelan told Football Insider: “We had it with Tyler Roberts last season and when he first came into Leeds, trying to keep these youngsters fit is difficult, especially when you’re coming back from another injury.

“You sometimes tend to find that when you’ve had a certain injury, you get a little few aches and pains in other positions because you might be compensating for that.

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“He’s going through a bit of a difficult one here when it comes to little niggles, there’s nothing worse than little niggles – at least when you’ve got major injuries or certain injury to an area it can be treated.

“When you come back and you’re starting to get into the flow again and you pick up that pace in training, you then tend to be susceptible to little niggles and injuries here and there.”

Shackleton has played eight times for Leeds this season, with six of those appearances coming in their Championship fixtures.

He has missed the last five league games through injury, with fellow midfielder Adam Forshaw also missing through injury to limit Bielsa’s options in the centre of the park.

In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has heard who will take over the centre-forward mantle if Patrick Bamford gets injured.