CALEB EKUBAN is awaiting the verdict on another foot injury amid concerns at Leeds United that the striker has suffered a recurrence of the broken bone which forced him to miss three months of the season.
Ekuban is due to undergo a scan today after being substituted during the first half of Leeds’ 3-1 win over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
The striker was withdrawn on 38 minutes having signalled his discomfort to head coach Thomas Christiansen and called for treatment. He left Loftus Road on crutches and with his injured foot in a protective boot.
The damage appeared to occur off the ball in a repeat of the setback which interrupted Ekuban’s campaign in the opening weeks of the Championship season.
United were forced to send Ekuban for surgery after the former Chievo forward pulled up with a broken foot bone during a 2-0 win at Sunderland on August 19. He returned exactly three months later in a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough.
His form since his comeback earned him a run of starts under Thomas Christiansen, including one at QPR, but United’s head coach feared Ekuban had aggravated his original injury.
“I believe so,” Christiansen said. “I’m not a doctor, I cannot say for sure, but it looks like it could be the same.
“He’s had very good performances and he’s helped the team to take good points. It’s a shame he got injured and we’re going to see in the next few days what he has.”
Christiansen has managed a lengthy absentee list in the past month and Pablo Hernandez, Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Stuart Dallas were all missing from his squad at Loftus Road. Jay-Roy Grot also failed to make the trip with a problem suffered in training.
Kemar Roofe, however, came up with his second hat-trick of the season on Saturday and Pawel Cibicki ended a frustrating wait for his league debut with a lively display after replacing Ekuban before half-time.
Christiansen said: “I have some injuries but I put in Pawel and when you see his performance it means that on the bench we have players who are ready.” Asked which of his injured crop were likely to return against Norwich City this weekend, the United boss said: “Some of them will be back for sure.”
He’s had very good performances and he’s helped the team to take good points. It’s a shame he got injured and we’re going to see in the next few days what he has.Leeds United head coach, Thomas Christiansen.
The numbers in the treatment room at Elland Road have not affected a sustained recovery by Leeds since the club’s run of seven defeats in nine matches.
Christiansen’s side have won three of their last five games, cutting the gap to the play-offs to four points and closing in on out-of-form Sheffield United.
“We have to look at ourselves,” Christiansen said. “The teams (above Leeds) know about us and we know about the other teams in the league. We’re not the team to beat but we’re one of them. We have to focus on ourselves. If we do things right we’ll be up there.
“I had belief in the team when we were in the top six and when we were out of it. We had a bad run but this is a situation which will happen for all teams during the season and I believe we’re almost out of it.
“We’ve had five games with good performances. In only one of them (a 4-1 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers) we didn’t take anything positive from. I’m very pleased.”