By Olly Allen

6th Dec, 2021 | 6:10pm

Leeds defender Pascal Struijk finishing recovery from hip injury

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has given an update on Pascal Struijk’s hip injury.

The 22-year-old was withdrawn at halftime in Leeds’ 1-0 win over Crystal Palace last week (30 November), but it was hoped that the problem was not too serious.

However, he subsequently missed the 2-2 draw against Brentford yesterday (5 December).

In his post-match press conference after the game against the Bees, Bielsa was asked about Struijk and suggested that the defender was not far away from being able to return.

The Whites boss said: “He’s got a problem in his hip and he’s finishing up his recovery.”

Utility man

Struijk has established himself as a key part of Bielsa’s squad, with his versatility proving particularly important this season as Leeds have had to contend with injuries in various positions.  

The 22-year-old has played at centre-back, left-back and in midfield and been a dependable option wherever he has been deployed.

This has earned Struijk praise from former Whites striker Noel Whelan, who said: “He’s a fantastic footballer, and one who has the ability to adapt to any role Bielsa asks of him.”

Before his injury, the former Dutch youth international was beginning to make the left-back spot his own with excellent displays against Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

Junior Firpo filled in in that role on Sunday against Brentford and put in an encouraging performance; he had a few shaky moments at the back but looked eager to get forward and help the attack.

With Liam Cooper a doubt for next weekend’s trip to Chelsea (11 December), it may be the case that Struijk returns to the side but in the centre of defence.

In other Leeds United news, a Whites transfer target has spoken about his future amid speculation.