EUNAN O’KANE is “a doubt” for Leeds United’s Championship clash at Brighton on Friday but Whites head coach Garry Monk remains “hopeful” the Irishman will be available to play a part at The Amex.
Centre back Liam Cooper is also back in training but captain Liam Bridcutt seems unlikely to feature on the south coast and would play no part were the game taking place 48 hours earlier.
Republic Of Ireland international O’Kane missed last Saturday’s 2-0 win at home to Aston Villa with a recurring groin problem but the Irishman is due to resume training with Leeds on Thursday, ahead of the Friday night clash at Brighton.
His participation remains in the balance but Bridcutt looks set to be given more time to continue his own comeback from injury having broken a bone in his foot in the middle of September.
Cooper, who missed last weekend’s Villa clash with an ankle injury, is definitely available having returned to training this week but no 10 Pablo Hernandez and right back Lewie Coyle remain sidelined with hamstring and knee injuries respectively.
“Eunan could have trained today but we did a very light session today so he should be out on the training pitch tomorrow,” said Monk of O’Kane, speaking at Wednesday afternoon’s pre-Brighton press conference.
“He’s still a doubt but we are very hopeful that he’s going to be available and involved at the weekend.
“We had training today and then we have got training tomorrow and we will assess the group and see where they are at.
Explaining the latest situation with Bridcutt, Monk revealed: “Liam is back in training. He has been training this week and he has come back in a good condition.
“It’s a day to day process with him, giving him the right training to get him back to a level that he’s competing for a place in the team.
“We have to do the right thing by Liam.
“He has come back in a very good condition so that’s testament to him and obviously the medical team and everyone else involved in that.
“But it’s a day to day process and we are going to look at him each day.
“He did two very hard trainings yesterday and today and we will see how he grows with the group.
“When I feel he is at the right level to compete for the games then he will be back involved but I don’t think as we speak right now that he’s ready or available for a game as we speak right now. But we will assess him daily.
“Everyone else is exactly the same as what we were but Liam Cooper is back in training so he is back fit. The rest is the same.
“Pablo is still out for maybe a couple more weeks and Coyley is obviously out for a little bit longer than that but the rest is as it is.”