Leeds United to assess injuries to key duo

Matthew Pennington is carried from the field.
Matthew Pennington is carried from the field.
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Leeds United were assessing injuries to Matthew Pennington and Gaetano Berardi last night after a pleasing win at Bolton Wanderers came at the cost of a dent to Thomas Christiansen’s defensive resources.

Christiansen plans to speak to Leeds about the recruitment of another centre-back today with Pennington likely to join Berardi in facing a spell out of action following yesterday’s 3-2 victory at the Macron Stadium.

Gaetano Berardi is stretchered off the pitch.

Gaetano Berardi is stretchered off the pitch.

The on-loan Everton youngster, who joined United on a season-long deal last month, limped out of the second half with an ankle problem and will undergo medical tests ahead of Wednesday’s League Cup tie against Port Vale.

Pennington’s injury forced Christiansen, who was without the suspended Pontus Jansson, to turn to young midfielder Conor Shaughnessy to partner Liam Cooper for the final 20 minutes.

Shaughnessy’s concession of a penalty shortly after stepping off the bench gave Bolton hope of snatching a point in the closing stages but Leeds saw out the closing stages to hand their head coach his maiden competitive win.

Berardi, meanwhile, was stretchered off late in the first half having dislocated his right shoulder as Leeds defended a free-kick. Vurnon Anita, the former Newcastle player, replaced him.

Leeds, however, are on the verge of securing more cover at left-back with a deal to take Manchester United’s Cameron Borthwick Jackson on loan from Old Trafford.

Borthwick-Jackson underwent a medical on Friday evening and is expected to sign on a full season deal this week.

Christiansen said: “Berardi is a shoulder injury and Pennington is an ankle injury, from what I saw. I’m not the doctor but this is what I saw and in the next couple of days we’ll have a diagnosis of what exactly happened and the time (for them to recover).

“This is of course the negative part of this win, that we had two injuries. We will see how important they are. I don’t think it looks good.”

Leeds have remained in the market for another central defender despite the arrival of Pennington from Everton and Christiansen said: “I will talk about that (today) when we come back to the training ground, with those responsible for that.”

United’s squad at Bolton was notable for some high-profile absentees, with Liam Bridcutt – last season’s club captain – left out of Christiansen’s travelling party. Stuart Dallas and Ronaldo Vieira made the trip to Bolton but were both absent from the 18-man squad but Christiansen said his decision to include 21-year-old Shaughnessy - a former Reading player who joined Leeds’ as a development squad player last summer - had been vindicated by the loss of defenders to injury.

“It’s good that I have players to choose from but it’s bad that I have to leave players out,” Christiansen said. “It’s not personal but only 18 players can be used

“Today I’m happy because I left a young centre-back on the bench and I had to use him because of injury. If I’d left him out of the 18 then we would have suffered much more. We didn’t have tall defensive players.

“I’m very pleased for the entrances of Conor and Anita. They did very well when they came on and helped the team.”