“Special” Leeds player suffering with rare injury, says Farke

    One Leeds United player has suffered a rare injury and couldn’t even board the team coach in the week, according to Daniel Farke.

    Chelsea 3-2 Leeds

    The Whites suffered their first defeat of 2024 on Wednesday evening, losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup. It was a performance to be proud of, though, with teenagers Archie Gray and Mateo Joseph shining in a changed line up.

    Joseph scored twice and Gray picked up the Player of the Match award after turning out in his favoured midfield role, with the club’s attention now solely on the Championship and the games coming thick and fast over the next seven days.

    A trip to Huddersfield Town is next on the agenda for Leeds and Farke before a home game against Stoke City and a visit to Sheffield Wednesday, but there appear to be some new injury concerns in the group alongside long-term absentees Pascal Struijk and Stuart Dallas.

    Leeds injury news

    There were some notable absentees from the defeat at Stamford Bridge, including first-team regulars Georginio Rutter and Ilia Gruev, both of whom were nursing slight issues. However, another who wasn’t in the squad was Joe Gelhardt, and it looks as if he was also injured.

    Speaking in his post-match press conference, relayed by Leeds Live, Farke said that Gelhardt suffered a back spasm in training which only happens ‘once or twice a year’.

    “In my plans until yesterday. Back spasm in training and could not climb in the coach, Happens once or twice a year and then he is out for two or three days.

    “He trained today, but could not walk when we travelled. Saturday early kick-off and we are back in the early hours. Odds are against us, but we proved tonight we can fight those odds.”

    The 21-year-old has made 11 appearances in all competitions this season, taking his overall Leeds tally to 52. However, most of his appearances have been from the bench.

    He has enjoyed success in Yorkshire, with Gelhardt’s best moment in a Leeds shirt coming in the Premier League in 2022 where he netted a late winner against Norwich City. He was hailed by Jamie Carragher as a result, who said: “He gets the flick on initially, brilliant up against the big defender. This composure he shows, doesn’t panic. Yes, it’s an open goal, you might say it’s easy, but it’s at that time of the game, the ball’s flashing across you.

    “And he’s a special, special talent. He’ll be remembered now for this big goal, but I can assure you, he is a lad we will be talking about a lot in a few years’ time, he really is.”

    Should Gelhardt, who has also been praised by Farke, miss out again on Saturday, then perhaps Joseph could be pushed further up the pecking order, especially after his brace against the Blues.

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