Stuart Dallas could be set to miss Leeds’ next pre-season friendly after suffering a concussion during the club’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester United in Australia.
Goals from Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones and Anthony Martial gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men a comfortable win in Perth, but it is likely to be the injury to Dallas that will be a greater cause for concern for Marcelo Bielsa and his backroom team.
The Northern Ireland international was substituted midway through the second half after suffering a facial injury when he was caught by the arm of Martial, and Leeds assistant coach Diego Flores revealed the extent of the injury after the game.
Speaking about Dallas’ situation, the Argentinean was quoted by Leeds Live as saying: “He felt a little bit bad, he lost a little bit of blood, the doctor decided to stop him playing and for this reason, Marcelo decided to bring on Hosannah instead.
“There was a little bit of concussion. He felt a bit dizzy, so I think it was the best decision to keep him out and bring in Hosannah in his place.”
With first-choice right-back Luke Ayling absent through injury and Jamie Shackleton not travelling with the squad to Australia, Dallas’ injury meant that it was 20-year-old Bryce Hosannah who stepped into that position for the final quarter of Wednesday’s friendly.
The academy product could now be called upon to fulfil that role again if Dallas fails to recover in time for the club’s friendly with Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.
This will be a frustrating situation for Leeds.
With the new season drawing closer, Bielsa and co. will be wanting to start to fine-tune his squad ahead of the new campaign, and missing regular starters through injuries is obviously not something that will help that.
Even so with the increased awareness and attention around head injuries and concussion these days, it does seem like it would be better to give Dallas the time off to recover rather than risk any potential further damage.
With right-back an area where Leeds are now running out of options in on the current trip, you wonder if this could even have some potential benefits, both in terms of preparation for dealing with these sorts of problems in the regular season, and the opportunity it looks set to give a young player such as Hosannah to prove himself in the club’s first team.