Blow for Leeds United as in-form Roofe suffers knee injury
Marcelo Bielsa confirms striker is latest star to be sidelined and will miss trip to Millwall
Kemar Roofe is the latest Leeds United forward to suffer injury. Photograph: Tim Goode/PA Wire
Leeds have been dealt another injury blow with manager Marcelo Bielsa confirming Kemar Roofe will miss this weekend’s game at Millwall.
Fellow striker Patrick Bamford was this week ruled out for four months due to knee ligament damage and Bielsa revealed Roofe is sidelined with a knock.
That leaves the Sky Bet Championship leaders without both leading strikers, while Bielsa also confirmed Pablo Hernandez (muscle strain) will play no part.
“He [Roofe] received a kick that does not allow him to play,” Bielsa said. “So we have four players missing, three of them are offensive players and I have to take this into account.
“But we have solutions to face these problems. I have to contend with that on Saturday. We’ve designed the group so that we can solve these kind of problems.”
Bielsa confirmed Hernandez, who missed the recent goalless draw against Middlesbrough, has suffered another similar muscle strain and will be absent at Millwall.
Defender Gaetano Berardi (knee) is also out and Adam Forshaw is still recovering from a foot injury.
Leeds have won four and drawn two of Bielsa’s first six league games in charge and sit top the table above Middlesbrough on goal difference.
But their resources will be severely tested at Millwall, with Bielsa’s thin 22-man squad missing five key players.
“The first option we have [up front] is Tyler Roberts,” the Argentinian said. “We have other possibilities.
“He [Roberts] has made many efforts. The last international game [for Wales] he played for 40 minutes as a number nine and it’s an option for us.”
Teenage forwards Ryan Edmondson, Jack Clarke and Sam Dalby have all trained with the first-team squad this season, but Bielsa said he had to be careful about introducing them too early.
“If we look backward, we didn’t have many injured players or injured players in the same positions, so I can’t deny the fact that it’s a difficulty,” Bielsa added.
“We always talked about the fact that we had 18 starters and four young players in the group, so now we’ll see how good the work we did was when we built the group.
“I told you that for each game you play there is always four players missing. For this coming game it’s more than four players.
“But the institution of the club has structure and we came into this structure, we have conditions of work.
“We have an academy that gives us young players, so we gather all these forces to resolve the kind of problem you have mentioned. We have to accept the fact we have to find solutions.”