By George Overhill

27th Aug, 2022 | 9:40pm

Jesse Marsch shares injury update on Leeds United captain Liam Cooper, missed Brighton loss

Jesse Marsch shared an injury update on his missing Leeds United captain Liam Cooper after the side lost for the first time this season, 1-0 at Brighton.

The Whites skipper is yet to feature in the Premier League this season, and although his absence hasn’t been felt to the degree that it was when he missed large swathes of the previous campaign, his return would be a significant boost.

He played 45 minutes in the Carabao Cup victory over Barnsley in midweek, but wasn’t fit to feature at the Amex because of an abundance of caution from United and the manager has downplayed his return to the sidelines.

The Athletic’s Phil Hay wrote on Twitter after the game from the manager’s post-match press conference: “Liam Cooper had a calf problem – Marsch says they were being “a little bit safe” with him. “We’re disappointed with that but it’s not bad.”

Frustrating

It has been somewhat lost in the previously unbeaten start to the season and the fact that Patrick Bamford is also again injured that Cooper has been out for so many games.

At times last season while he was sidelined along with the English striker and former midfield star Kalvin Phillips the defence would completely capitulate when they went a goal down.

That hasn’t happened this year so far and Marsch should be credited with instilling greater fight into the squad after a full preseason with them.

But there is still a brittleness to the defence that would be greatly aided by the organisation and presence of the 30-year-old, especially as Pascal Struijk has been having to fill in out of position at left-back and Rasmus Kristensen has been adapting to the Premier League on the other side.

Dropping two points from two goals up at Southampton might have happened anyway but it would have been a lot harder for the Saints to do it with Cooper in the line up.

Considering the repeated set backs that Bamford had when he hurried back to play last season it is probably on balance a sensible decision not to risk the same happening with Cooper now.

But the more he misses the more frustrating it will get, and it is of some concern that the club’s top striker and centre-back both seem to be ruled out so often in the past year.

Thankfully it doesn’t sound bad currently, but the games are going by without him there so time is of the essence over his return.

In other Leeds United news, one star man who was hailed last week was slammed on Sky Sports after the Brighton defeat.