Leeds United v Ipswich Town: Pablo Hernandez set to make full return but Tractor Boys outing premature for Barry Douglas
LEEDS United's Pablo Hernandez is set to start his first game following his hamstring injury in Wednesday night's Championship clash with Ipswich Town at Elland Road.
Marcelo Bielsa has also revealed that fellow winger Jack Harrison will likely feature after recovering from a muscle injury but United’s head coach says it would be risky to play the back-from-injury Barry Douglas.
Hernandez returned from a near two-month lay off following hamstring problems when brought on as a 71st-minute substitute with Bielsa insisting the 33-year-old would not have lasted the full game.
But Bielsa now looks set to hand the Spaniard a start against tonight’s visitors Ipswich, with on loan Manchester City winger Harrison also set to feature after recovering from a muscle injury.
Left back Douglas, though, is not fully ready despite returning to training following his recent hamstring injury.
Bielsa had also revealed that defender Pontus Jansson was unlikely to start after flying back from Sweden following the birth of his daughter over the weekend, even before news emerged
that Jansson was facing a one-game ban for swearing and accusing referee Jeremy Simpson of “robbery” in a post-match interview in the aftermath of the recent 1-1 draw with Brentford.
“Probably Pablo will be a starter,” revealed Bielsa, who had said on Tuesday: “Jansson will come back tonight and I don’t think he will be a starter and we will see if he will be able to be in the group.”
Asked about the prospects of Douglas and Harrison returning, Bielsa said: “It would be risky and premature for him (Douglas) to play this one but probably Harrison will play.”
Bielsa will also have defender Luke Ayling back from a one-game suspension.
Striker Patrick Bamford (posterior cruciate ligament knee injury) and forward Izzy Brown (anterior cruciate ligament knee injury) are longer term absentees though Brown took to social media on Saturday to say he was “not long” away from returning.
Bielsa was also relieved to report no fresh injuries following Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Blackburn Rovers.
“Do you not think we have enough injuries?!” laughed the head coach.
“As of the last half an hour we don’t have any more!”