Noel Whelan has suggested Eddie Nketiah will be sidelined for “another couple of weeks” as his injury is worse than Leeds United have claimed.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United forward is doubtful whether the Arsenal loanee will play any part in the glut of upcoming fixtures.

Marcelo Bielsa revealed at his media conference yesterday that the prolific striker, 20, is set to return to training on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s home clash against Middlesbrough.

As revealed by Football Insider a fortnight ago, Nketiah has not only suffered what the club termed an abdominal injury but he has also sustained an injury to a more delicate area of his anatomy.

Whelan, who covers all of Leeds’ matches as a radio pundit, shared some insight on how far away Nketiah is from returning to action.

“The problem is worse than what Leeds have said,” he told Football Insider. “From what I hear, he is not going to be back soon, it’s going to be a couple of weeks.

“It’s worse than what we were told by the club. They won’t be rushing him out, they will take it slowly.

“To lose Eddie Nketiah for so long is a huge blow, as there’s no centre-forward cover. We’ve got no back-up to Patrick Bamford. What if he gets injured?

“I’m hoping we can get Eddie back quickly because we need him from the bench.”

Bamford is set to spearhead the Leeds attack once again when they travel to Reading for tonight’s Championship clash seeking a fourth consecutive win.

Nkeitah has yet to start a league match for his loan club but has accumulated 430 minutes across all competitions and scored five goals.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club’s Kiko Casilla hopes rise after significant developments behind the scenes.