Leeds United team news - Marcelo Bielsa issues injury list update on Patrick Bamford and Raphinha as one defender returns for Watford and another needs surgery

Marcelo Bielsa will have Diego Llorente available for Saturday's Elland Road clash with Watford but Patrick Bamford will miss out and Luke Ayling requires minor surgery.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 1:23 pm
KNEE PROBLEM - Luke Ayling attempted to play through the pain at Newcastle United but eventually came off injured and has missed Leeds United's last two games. Pic: Getty

Bamford picked up an ankle injury in the second half against Newcastle at St James' Park and missed the Carabao Cup tie against Fulham and last weekend's 2-1 defeat by West Ham United, Rodrigo playing up front in his place against the Hammers. That injury is expected to keep him out for the duration of the international break, when he might have been involved with England.

In better news, Raphinha is fit to play and Bielsa's defensive options have increased with the return from suspension of Pascal Struijk and the news that Spanish international centre-half Llorente is fit again.

The knee injury picked up by Luke Ayling at Newcastle kept him out of Leeds' last two games and with Robin Koch's pelvic issue persisting and Llorente still recovering, 19-year-old Charlie Cresswell stepped up from the Under 23s against Fulham and West Ham.

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Ayling now requires a clean up operation, which will require a short period of rehabilitation, while there is still no timeframe for Koch's return. Koch picked up the complicated pelvic issue after playing against Manchester United in the season opener and is yet to recover, while Llorente is now fit again after the fifth injury of his first year at Elland Road.

"Raphinha is available, Bamford isn't," said Bielsa in his press conference ahead of the game against the Hornets.

"Bamford has an ankle injury that is surely going to take him a few more weeks to resolve. It hasn't been a simple injury and it will likely take him from when he was injured to when he returns around a month.

"Ayling has a problem in his knee that is going to require a simple surgical intervention. Koch has a problem in his pubis which is a very rebellious injury. It could be a long time or a short time.

"Another player who was injured and is now available is Llorente."

Leeds are searching for their first win of the season in the Premier League ahead of the international break.