Noel Whelan has urged Marcelo Bielsa not to push Ben White into midfield as Leeds United revealed that Kalvin Phillips would be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

The former Whites and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, hailed Phillips, 24, for playing through the pain on Sunday despite a heavily strapped knee.

The club confirmed earlier today that the defensive midfielder would be ruled out for up to five weeks after he suffered a knee injury in the 1-0 victory away to Swansea.

He will miss the final three games of the season against Barnsley on Thursday, Derby and Charlton with Leeds three points clear at the top of the Championship.

In the absence of Phillips this season centre-half Ben White has often stepped forward and Gaetano Berardi has come into defence but Whelan does not want to see a repeat.

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“There is no one better in that position,” he told Football Insider.

“He is such an important player out there on the field. I do not want to pull Ben White out of that position. White and Cooper need to be where they are.

“Kalvin did not want to come off the field, that is for sure. We could see the pain that he was experiencing in the first half when he had that knee problem and it looked like it could have been a tendon or ligament at the back of his knee.

“To get through the next 45 minutes in such a vital game, show his commitment to the club and the cause. It shows such a strong mental character. He wanted so badly to be a part of this.”

In other Leeds United news, Kevin Phillips reacts as club reportedly line up swoop for £40million striker.

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