Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn expects Lewis Cook to miss Saturday’s game against Blackburn Rovers and says the midfielder will be wrapped in cotton wool after injuring an ankle on international duty.
Cook is undergoing treatment on suspected ligament damage sustained during an appearance for England’s Under-19s and the 18-year-old is a doubt for both of United’s league games over the Easter weekend.
Leeds face Blackburn at home on Saturday before travelling to Wolverhampton Wanderers for a televised match on Monday and Cook is likely to be left out of the back-to-back fixtures.
United have sent him for scans on his injury and are yet to put a timescale on his recovery but initial results indicated that he had injured ankle ligaments while playing for England’s Under-19s in a European Championship qualifier against Azerbaijan in France last weekend.
Redfearn, who voiced concerns about Cook’s schedule before he departed on international duty, said: “It looks like it’s ligament damage and that’s a blow. We’re not at the stage of knowing how bad it is yet but he’ll be struggling for Blackburn.
“By all accounts the surface in France wasn’t the best and it’s unfortunate to say the least that he’s gone away fit and come back injured. But these things happen.
“He’s the sort of lad who would play through an injury or tell you to strap it up and let him carry on but we won’t be taking any risks with him. He’s had a great season but we’re getting close to the end of it now so we’ll look after him.”
Cook is likely to be a leading contention for United’s player-of-the-year award at the end of his first season as a professional and his outing at Blackpool ahead of the international break was his 38th of the term.
January signing Granddi Ngoyi, meanwhile, is still waiting to make his Leeds debut but the on-loan Palermo midfielder is back in full training after his latest setback.