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Luke Ayling facing two months out

Defender has been a key member of the squad this season, and struggled when he was out last year

Leeds United v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Leeds United has announced that fullback Luke Ayling is facing two months out after sustaining an injury against Nottingham Forest this past Saturday.

Ayling suffered an injury to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee. It

Per the club’s official website, Rob Price, the head of medicine and performance at the club, said about Ayling’s injury:

We are all disappointed for Luke but the prognosis could have been worse, the injury to the ligament is isolated and the rest of his knee is fine which is encouraging. It is our job now as a medical department to work closely with the player and get him back involved as soon as possible, stronger than ever.

It’s not good, but it’s not as bad as it was last year, when Ayling was injured on 1 January and was out for almost the rest of the season. The absence of Ayling also coincided with an extremely poor run of form for Leeds, and while the two might not be related, as the whole team seemed to crumble in January and never seemed to play well under Paul Heckingbottom, it’s not a good sign for this season.

As it stands, Ayling is set to miss match in November and December, which means Leeds will have its depth tested not only during the regular stretch of games, but also during the busy festive period.

Ayling has been a critical part of the team for awhile now, and Marcelo Bielsa has utilized the defender as both a fullback and a central defender. A player of his flexibility and ability will be sorely missed during the upcoming months, and if he’s not ready to go in January, the club should seriously consider either cancelling Lewie Coyle’s loan deal at Fleetwood or bringing in another right back to fill Ayling’s boots.