Imminent Leeds United fitness boost suggested as recently injured star gets international call

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Leeds United look to be heading for another imminent fitness boost judging by the unveiling of an international squad for this month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Whites captain Liam Cooper has not played a part in any of United’s last seven games but the centre-back has been named in boss Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad for this month’s European Championships qualifiers against Cyprus and Spain.

Cooper returned from a knock to play the full duration of last month’s 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest but was then missing from the Whites matchday squad for both back-to-back games against Manchester United.

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The skipper returned to the bench for the contest against Everton at Goodison Park but was not called for despite Leeds losing Max Wober to a shoulder injury as Rasmus Kristensen was introduced instead. Caretaker boss Michael Skubala said afterwards that Cooper was not ready for long minutes and the defender has been missing for United’s four games since.

The Whites captain reflected on his spell on the sidelines when writing in the matchday programme of Saturday’s hosting of Brighton. He wrote: “Personally it’s been frustrating to miss the last few matches with injury and I didn’t expect to be out for as long as I have been. Naturally, all I want to do is get back out on the pitch as soon as possible and help the team as much as I can. Hopefully I can do that sooner rather than later."

Scotland face Cyprus at Hampden Park on Saturday, March 25 and then another home qualifier against Spain on Tuesday, March 28. Leeds take in their last game before the international break this weekend with Saturday’s trip to fellow Premier League relegation-battlers Wolves.