Leeds United: Injured Cook withdraws from England duty

Lewis Cook
Lewis Cook
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Leeds United’s Lewis Cook has returned early from England Under-19 duty after suffering an ankle injury.

The 18-year-old was due to play in tonight’s European Championship elite round qualifier against France but he is back at Thorp Arch and receiving treatment ahead of United’s Easter schedule.

Cook is an early doubt for Saturday’s Championship game at home to Blackburn Rovers and Monday’s visit to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Leeds said in a statement that the youngster was recalled as a “precaution” but he has been sent for scans amid concerns that he has suffered ligament damage.

His injury was sustained during England’s 1-0 victory over Azerbaijan on Saturday, a result which gave the Under-19s a strong chance of qualifying for this summer’s European finals.

Victory over the French in France this evening would secure England’s involvement at the tournament in Greece, a competition which Cook is likely to feature in.

He tweeted a message of luck to his team-mates ahead of tonight’s game.

Leeds head coach Neil Redfearn spoke before the international break about his concerns over the fitness of Cook and Alex Mowatt, who linked up with England’s Under-20 squad last week.

“First and foremost they’re Leeds United players,” Redfearn said. “We want them fit and we want to pick our best side.”

Mowatt appeared once for England’s Under-20s but appears to have emerged from a friendly against the USA unscathed.