Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa says his club have yet to determine how long midfielder Kalvin Phillips will be absent with the shoulder injury he sustained in Monday’s defeat to Wolves.
Initial reports suggested Phillips would be ruled out for up to six weeks, but Bielsa gave a glimmer of hope that the 24-year-old could return sooner than expected.
Bielsa said: “I don’t have the definitive amount of time that Phillips is going to be out for. I understand that the information is incorrect. It could be more, or it could be less.”
Phillips has started all of Leeds’ Premier League games and earned his first England call-up under Gareth Southgate, and Bielsa bemoaned the timing of his injury.
“An injury is always uncomfortable and always comes at an inopportune time,” added Bielsa. “And it comes in a moment that is very special for Kalvin.”
Bielsa confirmed that Pascal Struijk, who replaced Liam Cooper on Monday after Cooper was injured in the warm-up, will come into midfield in place of Phillips against Aston Villa on Friday night.
Cooper remains an injury doubt for the Villa game while fellow centre-back Diego Llorente, who returned from international duty with a groin strain, is still definitely sidelined.
Bielsa said: “I can’t confirm whether Cooper is going to be available or not, as we’re two days away from the game and we’re still not sure if he will be.”