Leeds United host Southampton at Elland Road in a crucial clash against their relegation rivals on Saturday, and newly-appointed Whites manager Javi Gracia could be set for his first big injury blow at the club ahead of his first game in charge.
What’s the latest on Maximilian Wober’s injury?
According to Premier League injury expert Ben Dinnery, Maximilian Wober is a “major doubt” for the clash against Saints following a shoulder injury sustained against Everton last weekend, duly joining a lengthy list of casualties.
Dinnery told GIVEMESPORT: “You certainly can’t rule him out for a long period because there have been examples of players who have been able to return within seven to 10 days, while others can stretch up to three, four or even five weeks. It comes down to the severity of the problem.
“The fact that he was able to continue through until half-time, although obviously painful and sore, should be taken as a good sign. The possibility is that they will be working on that shoulder this week and then maybe getting some kind of supportive brace to protect that joint as well.
“Obviously, he has been red-flagged as a major doubt this weekend. But, in the grand scheme of things, it certainly isn’t something which is too long-term or serious.”
Will Wober’s injury cause a bad start for Gracia?
There is no doubt that Wober would be a big miss for the important clash against Southampton this weekend, as the talented centre-back has hit the ground running since arriving at Elland Road in January.
Despite Leeds’ poor performances in general, the Austrian has averaged 1.2 interceptions, 1.5 tackles, two clearances and three successful duels per game over his first six appearances for the club, offering a consistent and reliable presence in the defensive setup that the Whites desperately needed.
In fact, in the defeat to Everton last weekend, no other player on the Leeds team earned a higher Sofascore rating (7.3) even though he only played 45 minutes, further displaying the positive and instant impact that he has been making on the team.
As a result, Gracia must be desperately hoping that Wober has a speedy recovery and can return to action as soon as possible to ensure that Leeds don’t find themselves unable to climb out of trouble over their remaining 15 top-flight fixtures.
Would Wober be a big miss for Leeds?
Their opponents on Saturday are one of only three teams to have lost more top-flight games than Leeds this season, and if the former Watford boss oversees the Whites’ 13th defeat of the season, they will plummet to the foot of the table and see their opponents move above them.
It remains to be seen if Wober will be available against Southampton, but Gracia will surely be desperate not to have a bad start at Leeds so that he can give the supporters renewed belief for the rest of the campaign.