Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has offered a worrying update on the fitness of Tyler Roberts and Luke Ayling during his pre-match press conference, as quoted by Leeds Live.
The Whites duo are currently our only first-team players to be ruled out through injuries, and look set to endure lengthy periods on the sidelines with their current blows.
Roberts has been out of action since having fluid drained from his knee at the close of last season, with details of his absence that prevented him from featuring for Wales in European Championship qualifiers kept under tight wraps at Thorp Arch.
Ayling, on the other hand, was forced to undergo surgery ahead of the new term kicking off after suffering a knock to his ankle in pre-season, leaving Stuart Dallas with the responsibilities of covering the club’s right-back spot.
While the boss refuses to put a time frame on either’s return, he hinted that Roberts could be the first man back in his plans, but conceded that neither are nearing a return while speaking in the build-up to our trip to Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
“Week by week, they are making the evaluation of this injury process,” Bielsa noted. “Probably, it will be Roberts in the team before Luke Ayling.
“I cannot confirm this date, but we are not talking about players that are going to be coming back soon.”
As well as discussing the current state of Ayling and Roberts’ injuries, Bielsa confirmed that the same eleven who were held to a scored draw by Nottingham Forest will feature against Wigan at the DW Stadium this weekend.
“Now, we cannot say the team two days before the game because one supporter told him two days ago that he is giving too much advantage to the opponents, knowing the team,” his translator relayed. “But between you and me, it’s going to be the same team.”
Keeping with the same side who were held to a point by Forest will keep the pressure mounted on the shoulders of Patrick Bamford, as the 6ft striker left many disheartened last weekend by his efforts in front of goal.
Since the Elland Road encounter, supporters have also been given our first chance to cast judgment over Deadline Day arrival Eddie Nketiah, who needed just 43 minutes before he opened his United account in the Carabao Cup win at Salford City.
The striker, loaned to Leeds by Arsenal, will hopefully be on the bench for the first time in the Championship this weekend, with his potential inclusion offering the boss an option who may be able to change the game in our favour if Bamford once again fails to deliver.