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Double injury blow for Leeds United ahead of clash with Millwall

Leeds lost two players to injury against West Brom. We now know the length of the injuries.

Leeds United v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Rich Linley - CameraSport via Getty Images

Leeds United will be without captain Liam Cooper and young central midfielder Jamie Shackleton for six and four weeks respectively. Fortunately there is an international break coming after this weekend so they will miss fewer matches than at other times of the season.

Newly capped Scotland international Cooper had to leave the pitch after 34 minutes against West Bromwich Albion. The injury was originally thought to be a consequence of a challenge by WalesHal Robson-Kanu but the club have announced that it was in fact a groin injury. The injury will keep him out for six weeks.

The injury will most likely present a chance for one-time Switzerland international Gaetano Berardi to claim a starting berth, although his lack of height could be a problem against a tall and physical Millwall side. The other option for Leeds could be to play Luke Ayling at centre-back but that seems less likely.

As Under-23 player Pascal Struijk is also injured it could lead to at least a place on the bench for one of Leif Davis or Oliver Casey who have impressed in the Under-23 side. Although Marcelo Bielsa could just refuse to use centre-backs on the bench.

Jamie Shackleton will be out for a month with a Hamstring injury sustained during his excellent first half performance against West Brom. With Adam Forshaw having injury problems Leeds will be really hoping that Forshaw will return quickly or Leeds will be short in central midfield.

If Forshaw doesn’t return it will probably mean Poland’s Mateusz Klich drops into a deeper midfield role, with the number 10 spot taken by Tyler Roberts, although a return to fitness for Pablo Hernandez could allow him to play that role. It would also mean a potential place in the squad for Robbie Gotts as a central midfielder, or Mateusz Bogusz as a back-up as number 10.

How big a miss will Cooper and Shackleton be? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ThruItAllLUFC.