Leeds United defender Luke Ayling is set for two months on the sidelines after picking up a medial collateral ligament injury in The Whites’ 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, the club have confirmed.
The injury comes as bad news to everyone associated with Leeds United, as defender Ayling has made an impressive start to the season. The 27-year-old has been a mainstay in Marcelo Bielsa’s side, playing in 15 games in all competitions, picking up one goal.
Fans and staff are understandably upset with the news. However, they can be glad that the injury is not as bad as it could’ve been. Ligament injuries can lead to spells on the touchlines beyond the end of the season, damaging the knee in the long run.
The announcement has left fans wondering who will come into the side with Ayling absent. Some think youngster Jamie Shackleton will be given a first team opportunity, while others think Lewie Coyle – on loan at Fleetwood Town – could be recalled. Versatile workhorse Stuart Dallas is also an option to fill in at the wing-back position.
Leeds United fans have reacted to the news on Twitter this afternoon. Despite all being disappointed that one of United’s best performers this season will be missing for eight weeks, some are grateful that the injury is not as bad as it first seemed.
— Robbo (@_RobsonParker) October 29, 2018
Think people need to calm down a little bit, could have been and looked a lot worse then 8 weeks! He'll be back January when it's the most critical time of the Season.
— RyanC (@RyanLUFC92) October 29, 2018
Bielsa wants a squad of this size. This is what he wants and works in this way. Maybe after he’s experienced in this league he may change.
— Lady Bielsa (@LeedsUtdLady) October 29, 2018
— Chris Steele (@ChrisSteele) October 29, 2018
Hope Luke Ayling’s injury indent as bad as it looked but fear it is. Does test our squad at RB with Berardi out as well. Jamie Shackleton did well covering that position so him and Stuart Dallas May need to take that opportunity #lufc #MOT #Bielsaball
— Marc F (@billywigwam13) October 28, 2018
Ayling is out for 8 weeks then I would if we can recall, Lewie Coyle. Berardi is crocked as well, squad is paper thin #lufc
— Kirsty Stanley (@stanners_1982) October 29, 2018