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Leeds United must be “overprotective” of Archie Gray as he recovers from an ankle injury.
That is the view of medical expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in injury and data analysis, speaking exclusively to Football Insider.
As quoted by Phil Hay of the Athletic last week (11 November), Jesse Marsch revealed Gray will be out for at least six weeks with an ankle injury.
The 16-year-old suffered an ankle injury after a tackle from Aston Villa’s John McGinn in a pre-season game.
He recovered enough to be on the bench for Leeds’ 2-1 win over Wolves on the opening day of the Premier League season and has played four Premier League 2 games this term.
“You’ve always got to err on the side of caution and be overprotective,” Dinnery told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
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“It’s your responsibility as a club not to just look after the player for here and now but you do everything in your power to help that player have a long and successful career whether that’s at the club or not.
“The six to eight week setback in the grand scheme of things is inconsequential.
“Not every 16-year-old who bursts onto the Premier League scene is going to be a James Milner and play 600 Premier League games or a Wayne Rooney.
“There are always exceptions to the rule. Izzy Brown came onto the scene when he was 16 and is now a free agent after a couple of big serious setbacks.
“It’s about managing the player, managing expectations. You’ve got that physiological and psychological aspect, at that age, the player is still developing neurologically.
“It doesn’t make any sense to push players at this stage because there are many, many examples of doing so and you could potentially jeopardise the player’s career down the line.
“You always want to pull the player back and be overprotective.”