Leeds United's injury list in full as key player edges closer to return ahead of FA Cup tie against West Ham United

Leeds United begin their FA Cup campaign against West Ham United on Sunday - but who is a doubt for Marcelo Bielsa's travelling squad?

By Flora Snelson
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 12:18 pm

On Sunday, the Whites make the first of two visits to the London Stadium after the FA Cup draw handed Bielsa's side consecutive away trips to West Ham United.

Before Leeds take on the Hammers in the Premier League next week, the two teams will battle it out for a place in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup this weekend.

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United were back in action on Sunday after their festive fixture list was disrupted following a coronavirus outbreak which left Bielsa unable to field enough senior players in games against Liverpool and Aston Villa.

But Leeds were restored to something closer to full strength for their first game of the new year, a 3-1 victory over Burnley.

Junior Firpo returned to Bielsa's starting eleven after serving a one-match suspension, joined by Diego Llorente who was back in action having finished self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus. Meanwhile, Dan James completed his recovery from an issue with his adductor in time to step off the bench to seal the Whites' win in injury-time by heading home Leeds' third goal.

The Whites could be further strengthened this weekend by the return of star striker Patrick Bamford. United's number nine has missed fifteen Premier League games so far this season to injuries to his ankle and hamstring. After the forward claimed he was 'touch and go' for the Burnley clash, there's a strong chance Bamford will be fit to face the Hammers on Sunday.

19-year-old Charlie Cresswell was handed chances in Marcelo Bielsa's first team before he dislocated his shoulder in training. Pic: Robbie Jay Barratt.

Before Bielsa's definitive injury update later this week, we take a look at the situation in the Thorp Arch medical room ahead of the Whites' FA Cup tie:

Kalvin Phillips - hamstring

Against Burnley, Adam Forshaw did a fine job of deputising for Phillips, who Bielsa anticipates will be out until March.

The 26-year-old has reportedly undergone surgery after limping off with a hamstring injury during the Whites' 2-2 draw with Brentford in December.

Patrick Bamford returned from an ankle injury against Brentford in December, stepping off the bench to score an injury-time equaliser before injuring his hamstring in the celebration. Pic: George Wood.

It is possible that he is also taking a lengthy predicted lay-off as an opportunity to treat a long-standing issue with his shoulder.

Liam Cooper - hamstring

In his pre-match press conference last Friday, Bielsa revealed that Liam Cooper will also be kept on the side-lines until March.

It's a huge blow for the Whites to lose their captain at such a crucial point in the season.

Rodrigo has been suffering bi-later heel pain for some time and is resting until the pain subsides. Pic: Jan Kruger.

Vice-captain Luke Ayling has taken on the armband while the centre-back recovers from a hamstring injury.

Pascal Struijk - foot

Struijk is said to be suffering from pain after two of his bones 'collided' during a training drill at Thorp Arch.

It's something Bielsa claims never to have seen before, so a rare and unfortunate incident to take the young defender out of action.

No timeframe for a return has been offered as the Dutchman's pain is monitored on a daily basis.

Rodrigo - heel

Whites talisman Kalvin Phillips is due to be out of action until March after suffering a hamstring injury against Brentford. Pic: Stu Forster.

No return date has been proposed for the Spaniard either, whose heel pain is being assessed daily.

It's an issue the forward has been suffering from some time and so, with rest prescribed, Rodrigo will have to remain patient for the forseeable future.

Tyler Roberts - calf injury

Roberts and Diego Llorente both received a fifth yellow card of the season against Burnley, meaning they'll each serve a one-match ban.

Though the suspension is competition-specific, meaning it doesn't count them out of Sunday's FA Cup tie, it wasn't the only blow Roberts suffered at Elland Road.

After heading a key chance wide in the first half, the striker was forced off the pitch in the 58th minute of the Burnley clash, holding his calf as he went.

We wait to be updated from Bielsa on Roberts' condition during the Argentine's pre-match conference on Friday.

Charlie Cresswell - shoulder

Some way yet to go for the teenager, who dislocated his shoulder during training in December.

Bitterly disappointing for the young centre-back, who was finding first-team opportunities as injury has consistently interfered with Bielsa's back-line since the start of the season.

Jamie Shackleton - achilles

Another young player whose opportunities with the first team have been snatched away by injury.

The 22-year-old has been side-lined with an issue with his achilles tendon since hobbling off the pitch during the Whites' 7-0 thrashing at the Etihad in December.

No return date has yet been set for the youngster, who will be hoping to add to his collection of nine starts for Leeds when he recovers from his injury.

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Tyler Roberts makes way for Joe Gelhardt during the Whites' 3-1 victory over Burnley. Pic: Stu Forster.