CHRIS WOOD will undergo tests on a hamstring strain on Wednesday after an injury to Leeds United’s leading scorer soured a hugely impressive win over Reading.
Leeds came through a mass of selection issues to beat third-placed Reading 2-0 on Tuesday night, helped by Wood’s 14th goal of the season, but an injury to the striker midway through the first half compounded an already sizeable shortage of players at Elland Road.
Wood was troubled by hamstring complaints last season, forcing him to miss around two months of the campaign, but has been free of any fitness concerns since August and his glut of goals have carried Leeds into firm contention for promotion.
The win moved the club up to fifth in the Championship table.
A delighted Garry Monk praised the endurance of his squad after they emerged from a match in which Reading saw 77 per cent of possession but failed to pose a serious threat until the latter stages.
United’s head coach is now hoping for good news on Wood, saying: “It’s a hamstring tightness. We won’t know for 24 hours but we’re hoping it’s nothing serious.
“It didn’t look like a bad one from where I was standing but we’ll have to wait until he gets assessed. We don’t want to lose Woody. He’s been integral to what we’ve been doing.
“It’s not easy for us because we’re down in a few areas but we thoroughly deserved the points. We were the most dangerous team on the pitch and we limited them to having possession in areas where they couldn’t hurt us. We limited them to almost nothing in terms of chances.
“Yes, we need to challenge ourselves to be a bit better with the ball but we’re at the stage of the season where it’s important to grind certain results out, stick in and show character. This team has that in abundance. Ultimately the gameplan was spot on.”
Wood’s early withdrawal saw captain Liam Bridcutt make his first appearance as a substitute since the middle of September, completing his comeback from a fractured foot.
Bridcutt was pushed into action ahead of schedule after injury and suspension robbed Monk of Eunan O’Kane and Kalvin Phillips, leaving Ronaldo Vieira as the only recognised central midfielder in United’s line-up.
A back problem affecting Marcus Antonsson led Monk to include 17-year-old striker Mallik Wilks on the bench.
“I didn’t even want to play (Bridcutt),” Monk said. “It was a bit of a necessity but the plan was to avoid bringing him on if we could. To come through a game like that an win it deservedly is a credit to everyone involved.”
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