Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that Raphinha is set to miss the clash against Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
The Brazilian limped off the pitch in the 2-1 over Manchester City last month and has since missed the games against Liverpool and Manchester United respectively.
Ahead of the Yorkshire side’s clash against the Seagulls today, Bielsa delivered a rather worrying update on the winger and the injury that he sustained at the Etihad Stadium.
He said: “More than serious is more difficult to give a diagnostic of and difficult to give return date. A hit which created an internal hematoma and until that hematoma disappears it causes pain and inhibits mobility.
“This can be resolved quickly or take longer. When the hematoma reduces and the player is no longer in pain he will return quickly. The impression is that we are in the final stages until he is finally healed.”
Make no mistake about it, Bielsa will be sickened over missing his chief talisman from this season once again. The summer signing has been a breath of fresh air in the Premier League with the way he has adjusted to life in English football, scoring six times and providing a further six assists in the top flight.
Raphinha’s displays had Leeds teammate Patrick Bamford hailing about him after the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace earlier in the campaign, with the Englishman saying on Sky Sports: “I think, to be honest, he has been a steal for Leeds. I am surprised. As soon as he came in, you saw him in training, you know sometimes with players whether they are good or they are top class, and he really was. He stood out straightaway.
“I am surprised that bigger teams, more established Premier League teams I should say, haven’t taken a punt on him because he really is someone special, and he is young.”
While it is certainly only a small sample size, in the three games in which Raphinha has not featured, Leeds have yet to win, including a 4-1 defeat against Leicester early in the season.
Being without him once again will come as a blow to Bielsa and a setback to his side’s chances of avenging the home defeat by Brighton back in January.
Meanwhile, Leeds can finally bin this “liability”…