Leeds United injury crisis summed up by Premier League’s postponement rules

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Vaccination rates at Leeds United are among the best in the Premier League and that’s why Sunday’s West Ham United return is not at risk right now.

With Marcelo Bielsa not facing the media again until Friday, we will have to wait for the injury latest, but as it stands, the Whites are facing the possibility of 12 players missing this weekend’s game.

As of full-time on Sunday, United are operating with eight available senior outfield players: Luke Ayling, Adam Forshaw, Robin Koch, Raphinha, Stuart Dallas, Daniel James, Jack Harrison and Mateusz Klich.

Under Premier League rules around Covid-impacted postponements, a club may request to rearrange a match if they cannot field one goalkeeper and 13 outfield players, but only if Covid is contributing to the absences.

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Youth players are considered eligible for that quota of 13 if they have played for the club, another Premier League or EFL club, or an overseas club in the current season, not including the FA Cup.

That adds Cody Drameh (expected to depart for Cardiff City imminently), Crysencio Summerville, Stuart McKinstry and Liam McCarron to the list.

If none of the injured players recover, Junior Firpo fails to shake his concussion and Drameh moves to Cardiff, Leeds would have 11 outfield players available the league would consider of appropriate experience.

And yet, with no Covid impact, Leeds would not have grounds to request a postponement, not that they would want to anyway.

There are no complaints from United or Bielsa about their predicament nor noises about wanting the game called off, but looking at the squad rules around postponements only underlines just how tough the situation is at Thorp Arch.

The hope is Bielsa can confirm a recovery or two in his next press briefing, while Firpo can prove he is over the dizziness which affected him in Stratford.

In the meantime, with a Covid-free squad, Leeds have to muddle on and make the best of it in the midst of an unprecedented injury crisis.

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