Noel Whelan fears Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips is facing a lengthy lay-off after sustaining an injury possibly due to the new Elland Road pitch.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites and Coventry striker revealed that he saw players “losing their footing and slipping” in Monday night’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Phillips hobbled off with a calf problem after 88 minutes of the victory and was replaced by Jamie Shackleton.

As quoted by Leeds Live, United boss Marcelo Bielsa revealed that he did not know the extent of the midfielder’s injury.

Whelan is worried by the prospect of a lengthy lay-off for Phillips.

“It is very difficult to say how long he will be out for, especially when it comes to a muscular injury,” he told Football Insider.

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“Your calf takes most of the strain on your body, so it could be bad and a long lay-off.

“I really do not think the pitch is helping anybody. Against Everton and Palace it has been a problem. This is a no-contact injury so it could have come from the turf.

“I saw so many players on Monday night losing their footing, slipping and even getting their feet stuck in the ground when they were trying to turn. I saw Alioski and Luke Ayling do it.

“Kalvin’s injury is a massive worry though as we know how integral he is to Leeds. We are a much weaker side without him. We need him for the Arsenal game.”      

Leeds replaced their 25-year-old pitch with new hybrid turf last month.

The new surface was bought for £300,000 from Premier League rivals Tottenham, with a full pitch replacement to be installed at the end of the season.

In other news, Patrick Bamford is set for talks over a blockbuster new Leeds United deal.