By David Woods

7th Apr, 2021 | 6:35pm

'Not ashamed to say' – Liam Cooper details Leeds battle with Covid

Leeds United centre-back Liam Cooper has admitted that he was suffering from Covid when he was missing from recent games against Chelsea and Fulham.

Cooper was also omitted from the Scotland squad for its recent World Cup qualifiers.

Leeds have a policy of not confirming positive cases among players but rumours were rife that Cooper was suffering from Covid.

Talking on BBC Radio Leeds on Wednesday, Cooper also said he wasn’t expecting to walk straight back into the side, with Diego Llorente and Pascal Struijk both playing well.

“Yeah, I was struggling the first few days. I’m not ashamed to say it was Covid,” Cooper said.

“It was rough, bad headaches, tiredness, it knocked me for six for a few days. But then I started feeling better.

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“I had to go for a cardiac screening last week to make sure there were no complications with my heart.

“I came back and trained. The first few days were tough but now I almost feel back to 100% now.

“I can see why it can be really rough for people. I’m obviously a really fit person, I’m an athlete. For someone not as fit as me it could really harm them.”

Leeds should just be straight about Covid cases

This was perhaps the worst-kept secret of recent times at Leeds and we can’t understand why the club is still sticking to its policy of not commenting on Covid results.

They say when players are injured, so why not when they’ve contracted Covid? As Cooper says, it’s not like it’s anything to be ashamed of.

As it is, rumours circulated online about Cooper without any definitive knowledge of what was going on.

That meant the Cooper situation was talked about a lot more than if the club had just said – as others do – that one of their players had tested positive.

The good news for Leeds is that the international break came at the right time to minimise the time he was out and that he hasn’t got any long-term effects.

There’s competition at the back for Leeds and if Cooper had been out for longer he might not have come straight back into the team.

In other Leeds United news, MOT View: Exciting Leeds youngster ready for PL debut after official update