Athletic journalist Phil Hay has said that Robin Koch is “doing well” and should be fit to play for Leeds United again in mid-March.

Koch has been out for the last 12 games after getting injured in the game against Chelsea.

Hay thinks that he will play under-23s games first before making his return to the first-team.

Talking in The Athletic, Hay said of Koch, “He’s doing well and coming on but Bielsa hasn’t given an updated timeframe yet so I would expect that we’re looking at the middle of next month most likely, given that he’ll probably go through U23 games first.”

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Koch the key for Leeds

It could be a case of waiting an age for Leeds centre-backs to return, only for two (or even three!) to come back at once.

Gaetano Berardi is back in training after his ACL injury but it will take him a few weeks to get back to match fitness.

Diego Llorente is also on the sidelines at the moment with a similar return timeframe to Koch.

Getting any one of them back would be good but Koch is the key. He was bought as cover for Kalvin Phillips as well as his skills at centre-back.

When he’s back we expect him to slot straight back into centre-back with Pascal Struijk dropping out.

If Phillips is out then Koch will cover for him, with Struijk or Berardi coming into centre-back.

That will mean Bielsa won’t have to make up to three changes whenever Phillips is missing again.

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