Blackburn Rovers v Leeds United: Cooper’s a slight doubt for Ewood trip

Liam Cooper.
Liam Cooper.
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LIAM COOPER is a slight doubt for Leeds United’s Championship trip to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday but Chris Wood and Lewie Coyle are both in line to return to the Whites’ match-day squad.

Cooper missed Tuesday night’s 2-0 win at Cardiff with a hamstring injury and head coach Steve Evans admits there is an element of doubt about the centre-back returning this weekend.

Joint top-scorer Wood, though, is all set to finally return from his own hamstring problem that has kept him out of United’s last eight games while Coyle is in line to make a quick recovery having been stretchered off last Saturday against Bolton with an ankle injury.

Evans had already confirmed that Wood would return against Blackburn if he missed the Cardiff clash and said at Thursday afternoon’s Thorp Arch press conference: “I would expect Lewie Coyle to be available for selection, Coops I would think would be ready and Chris Wood will be ready.

“If there’s anybody with maybe a shadow of a doubt it might be Liam but I’m still hopeful he will be available for selection.

“Again, it was a soft tissue muscle injury and we just have to be 100 per cent sure.

“I don’t kid myself here, if we were a few games from the end of the season it wouldn’t be a medical department choice. It would be mine.

“But I respect their opinions and when we sit down, as we always do the day before a match, we look at our options.”

Confirming that Wood is about to finally return to the Whites fray, Evans added: “Unless we have something happen between now and Saturday morning then Chris Wood will be in the 18 at Ewood Park and we are looking forward to having Chris Wood back.

“He’s a big player for Leeds United, he’s a big player for me as a head coach and I think my wall has no more paint on it to scratch off counting down the days.”