Leeds United have suffered another injury blow after Garry Monk revealed that winger Stuart Dallas is set for an extended spell on the sidelines with a thigh strain.
Monk, who lost captain Liam Bridcutt to a fractured foot last month, expects to receive a full diagnosis of Dallas’ injury later this week but the Northern Ireland international has been ruled out of tomorrow night’s clash with Wigan Athletic after missing Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Derby County.
Dallas returned early from international duty last Tuesday having sustained his injury ahead of a World Cup qualifier in Germany and United sent him for another scan ahead of the weekend after carrying out initial assessments.
The former Brentford player was back in favour at Elland Road and had settled into Monk’s line-up after a slow start to the season. His performances helped United claim five wins from seven games leading up to the international break.
Monk deliberately left him out of some of Leeds’ earlier matches, saying Dallas was below par after a busy summer which involved appearances at Euro 2016, and United’s head coach voiced disappointment at losing the winger at the point where he was regaining his form.
“We’ve rescanned him and it’s likely that he’s going to be out for a little bit,” Monk said.
“How long that’ll be, we’ll probably know in the middle of this week but it doesn’t look like he’ll be available for Tuesday. Whether it’ll be the weekend we’ll see.
“We won’t really know until midweek exactly what sort of length it’s going to be.
“He’d been a big part of last month and those seven games we had.
“He’s an international player with good experience and good pedigree so of course you’re going to miss a player like that. But it’s an opportunity for other people and you have to use your squad.”
Bridcutt was ruled out for up to eight weeks before the international break started, beginning his recovery from a foot injury suffered in a league win over Blackburn Rovers.
Monk has used youngster Kalvin Phillips in Bridcutt’s absence and Alex Mowatt was chosen as Dallas’ replacement on the left wing away at Derby.
Bridcutt is unlikely to return until the latter stage of next month but Monk said on Thursday that he was happy with the midfielder’s progress so far.
“He’s still got a period to go and it’s going to take time but he’s well on schedule,” Monk said.
“He’s rehabbing well and hopefully he can be out on the grass with us pretty soon.”
Monk, however, has welcomed Gaetano Berardi back into full contention after the right-back completed another appearance for United’s Under-23s on Friday night.
Berardi played in a 4-0 defeat to Hull City’s development squad, completing his recovery from a hamstring strain suffered more than two months ago.
Monk said: “He was fine and he’ll be back in the group.”