Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen admitted he was facing a dilemma over which players to leave out of tomorrow’s clash with Reading after being given a near clean bill of health.
Christiansen expects midfielder Eunan O’Kane and defender Pontus Jansson to be available despite rib and shoulder problems suffered ahead of the international break and England Under-20 international Ronaldo Vieira is close to overcoming a minor knee tendon injury.
Liam Cooper will also be available at Elland Road following a one-match ban and left-back Vurnon Anita has trained during the past fortnight, giving Christiansen a full choice of defenders and the crux of a fully-fit squad.
Striker Caleb Ekuban is Leeds’ only confirmed absentee as he continues his recovery from a broken foot suffered in August.
Jansson was sent for scans on a heavily bruised arm suffered in Leeds’ 3-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on October 1 but escaped any significant damage.
O’Kane, meanwhile, completed 90 minutes of the derby in Sheffield having missed a prior loss at Cardiff City with what Leeds announced as an illness.
Republic of Ireland coach Martin O’Neill, however, subsequently revealed that O’Kane had carried cracked ribs through the game at Hillsborough and received a painkilling injection before kick-off.
Christiansen joked: “Perhaps the coach (O’Neill) is a doctor now! I don’t know about that situation but he will be okay to play. Only one player is out and that’s Caleb.”
On Vieira, he added: “Ronny had a problem in the last game against Sheffield Wednesday and hadn’t been training until two days ago,” Christiansen said. “He’s an important player and we will use him this season, for sure.”
Asked if he was facing a selection “headache”, Christiansen said: “Yes, a big one. I have my ideas of what I want to do but we still have one training session left. I have everyone available and we’ll see what the decision will be.”