This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Better to be safe than sorry.
Having sustained an injury in the victory over West Bromwich Albion a few weeks ago, Leeds United’s Liam Cooper has been doing his best to get back into action as soon as he can.
Speaking to LUTV, the captain gave an update on his injury and how things are progressing a little better than expected:
“It’s settling down a little bit quicker than I thought it would, there’s a bit of damage in the tendon which usually takes a bit longer, but I’m progressing well in the gym. Who knows, I could get back a bit earlier but it all depends on the healing process.”
Whilst it might be good to hear the captain speaking so positively about his recovery, Leeds need to be incredibly careful with how they deal with the captain’s injury. The team display against Millwall, but specifically the clumsy performance by his stand-in Gaetano Berardi (although the red card was later rescinded), showed that they can’t afford to have him out of the side much longer.
And given that Leeds don’t have the biggest of squads as it stands – but particularly at centre-back with Ben White the only natural centre-half yet to be mentioned – it’s not like they’re blessed with options if things get worse.
Whilst they may be tempted to rush him back to solve their defensive issues, they must be sure that he is 100% healthy or they could end up losing him for a much longer stretch. If they have to sacrifice one game in giving him that extra bit of rest and recuperation in order to save him from missing out a lot more fixtures further down the line, then they absolutely have to do it.
Having come so close to promotion last season and set expectations so high, Leeds can’t afford to fall short again. If the display against Millwall is anything to go by, then the more Cooper’s around, the better chance they have of achieving promotion.