Noel Whelan has suggested Covid-19 could be behind Liam Cooper’s absence at Leeds United.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted comments from the likes of Marcelo Bielsa and Steve Clarke pointed towards a Coronavirus case.
Speaking earlier this week, Marcelo Bielsa confirmed Cooper was still suffering from an illness that forced him out against Chelsea.
Marcelo Bielsa says Patrick Bamford is fit to face Fulham on Friday. Cooper is still ill, while Rodrigo is a doubt, although Bielsa says his muscle issue is not serious. #LUFC
— David Anderson (@MirrorAnderson) March 17, 2021
The centre-back also sat out against Fulham and was notably absent from the Scotland squad named earlier this week.
Discussing Cooper’s omission, manager Steve Clarke revealed he may have been available for the third game against the Faroe Islands at the end of the month.
With the defender set to be out for over two weeks, Whelan suggested Covid may have played a part.
Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Well, is he run down or is it Covid? You can read what you want into it these days.
“They don’t have to come out and say that. If you read between the lines, the day and age that we’re living in, there’s a good chance that could be it.
“But look, I’d be more worried if we didn’t have centre-halves. We’ve got three out of four now which is fantastic. We’ve got a choice of what we want. We can play the two summer signings for the first time if we want to.”
Scotland boss Steve Clarke on Liam Cooper’s omission from squad: “He's not available for the games
"I spoke to Liam. He could maybe have been available for the third game but it's not going to happen. We had a good chat about it & decided to go with the ones I've picked." #lufc
— Adam Pope (@apopey) March 16, 2021
Cooper has played 22 times for Leeds this season, with one Premier League goal under his belt.
He also has picked up four caps for Scotland since his debut in 2019.