Gray’s team hit by double injury blow

LEEDS: Leeds’ hopes of avoiding relegation have been dealt a blow with the news that Seth Johnson has been ruled out for the rest of the season and fellow midfielder Eirik Bakke is unlikely to play again. 

Johnson has been ruled out for up to nine months with knee ligament damage while Bakke has a thigh injury. 

The Norwegian has returned to training but is struggling to regain his fitness after tearing a thigh muscle against Liverpool at the end of February.  

“We do not know if we will see him again this season,” Leeds physio Dave Hancock told the club’s website.  

Bakke has endured an injury-hit season after having an operation to resolve his tendonitis problem last summer and has only played 11 games this season.  

Johnson was carried off on a stretcher in the victory at Blackburn on Saturday and the results of a scan have revealed the extent of the injury.  

Leeds’ injury plight forced them to partner Lucas Radebe with fellow central defender Dominic Matteo in midfield in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at home to Everton.  

“I thought Lucas did tremendously well. I had no doubts about putting him in the middle of the park. The only thing with Lucas is hoping his knees stand up but he is a great competitor,” said caretaker manager Eddie Gray.  

“Seth has got ligament damage and will not play for a long time. It is a bad injury and he will not play for six to nine months,” Gray added. – AFP 

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