Paddy Kenny admits Patrick Bamford’s absence for Leeds United’s against Southampton this weekend is a “massive blow” for Marcelo Bielsa.
The Whites have something of an injury crisis at the moment with Kalvin Phillips facing a race to be fit for the fixture.
Bamford has missed the last two league matches through injury and Bielsa has not put a timescale on his return.
Speaking to Football Insider, Kenny believes the Argentinian head coach should ease the 28-year-old back into the starting XI once he regains fitness.
“He’ll be a massive miss. He was their top goalscorer last season.
“I know Raphinha might be out. With Bamford coming back from injury, even if he was available, I don’t know if they’d throw him straight in.
“With him being out for a few weeks, it can be a tough one sometimes. Depending on how fit they are and how well that injury’s healed, then it is a decision Bielsa will have to make.
“It’s a tough one sometimes to throw him straight back in there, into a Premier League match. It’ll be interesting to see what the manager does on that front.”
Bielsa has not ruled Raphinha out of Saturday’s Premier League game at Southampton despite his involvement with Brazil.
Raphinha is reportedly poised to make his first start for Brazil in the early hours of Friday morning against Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier.
“There is no doubt that it’s a short turnaround,” Bielsa said on Thursday.
“The options he has to participate in the game on Saturday depends on whether he plays this final game tonight, how many minutes he plays, how he finishes the game after participating in it and how efficient his rest in the next 36 hours is.
“Considering that a third of those hours he will spend on a flight and if there is any risk that fatigue could cause injuries, then we won’t risk it.
“There are so many aspects to consider that I can’t offer you any certainty either way.”