BBC Sport journalist Adam Pope has dropped a worrying injury update on Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
The England international was taken off by Marcelo Bielsa during the Premier League clash against Brentford at the weekend, having first tried to play on before making it clear he needed to be substituted just before the hour mark.
And now, writing on Twitter early on Wednesday morning, Pope revealed: “Kalvin Phillips is understood to be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Will ask about expected length of time out & exact nature of injury when we speak to Marcelo Bielsa on Thursday.”
Make no mistake about it, being without Phillips for any length of time would be a devastating blow for Leeds and their supporters, given how instrumental he is both as a player and a leader.
In the three Premier League games that he’s failed to take to the pitch this season, the Whites have lost to Manchester United 5-1, lost to Southampton 1-0, and drawn 1-1 at home to Wolves too – hardly the kind of form that suggests they can cope without him.
It’s no surprise then that former Leeds man Noel Whelan has admitted reports emerging of Phillips’ injury is “massive”.
He said: “It’s a massive worry. One’s our club captain, and the other is invaluable to how we play. Having someone with the calibre of Kalvin Phillips out will be crucial to our competitive nature, our ability to go from back to front, and that calming influence on the ball.
“Hopefully it won’t be long term for Kalvin, it could just be a precaution. We can’t afford this, to be missing players like them over this Christmas period, they’re vitally important.”
If indeed Phillips is ruled out for the foreseeable future and misses the busy run of games over the festive period, then that could strike a decisive blow as the Whites aim to stay well away from the relegation zone.
Leeds fans will surely be devastated with Pope’s reveal.