Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that Leeds United‘s Pablo Hernandez will be sidelined for approximately a month.
The veteran Spanish midfielder suffered a hamstring injury in the first minute against Fulham on Saturday.
Hernandez has already missed a portion of the season through injury, with his return to the side largely coinciding with United’s 11-match unbeaten run and seven-game winning streak.
After he hobbled off at Craven Cottage, Leeds went on to lost their first game in over two months as Scott Parker’s Cottagers ran out 2-1 winners and reduced the gap to nine points.
Speaking in the press conference ahead of the Boxing Day fixture against Preston, Bielsa confirmed that he was set to miss roughly four weeks of first-team football.
“One month,” the Argentinian responded when asked how long he’d be absent. “It was an injury with his hamstring.”
It’s far from ideal timing with Leeds currently looking a little thin in midfield with Adam Forshaw also sidelined.
Jamie Shackleton and Tyler Roberts are both able to fill the void in central midfield left by Hernandez, and Bielsa provided good news as both players have returned to training and are back in contention for the team, although unlikely to start.
“Tyler Roberts and Jamie Shackleton are available,” Bielsa added. “Douglas is sick, we don’t know when Forshaw will be back.”
He confirmed that utility man Stuart Dallas will move into midfield with Gjanni Alioski coming back in at left-back.
Hernandez will miss some key fixtures in the coming weeks. Preston are among the chasing pack in the Championship’s top six, while Leeds also have a trip to the Hawthorns to play league leaders West Bromwich Albion and a marquee fixture at Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup.