16 March 2023

Javi Gracia and Leeds must cope without ‘key player’ Tyler Adams for Wolves trip

16 March 2023

Leeds midfielder Tyler Adams has been ruled out of Saturday’s Premier League game at relegation rivals Wolves due to a hamstring injury.

USA captain Adams, consulting a specialist and waiting to learn the full extent of the problem sustained in training, will not be joining up with his country’s squad for international duty after Leeds’ trip to Molineux.

The club’s head coach Javi Gracia said: “In this moment he’s with a specialist and we’ll see how long he’s out of the team. We have other players.

“We know, all of us, that Tyler is a key player for us, but we have to manage with the squad we have. We have other players ready for the next game.

“He is different to others. There is no one like Tyler because all the players are different with different features and skills they have, but in this case we have other players ready as you can see in the last games we’ve played.”

Adams, who skippered the USA at Qatar 2022 – they lost 3-1 to the Netherlands in the last 16 – will miss his country’s forthcoming CONCACAF Nations League matches in Grenada (March 25) and against El Salvador in Florida (March 28).

After Saturday’s trip to Molineux, Leeds are next in action following the international break at title-chasing Arsenal on April 2.

Leeds, second bottom and a point from safety after last week’s 2-2 home draw against Brighton, will climb to within a point of 13th-placed Wolves with victory on Saturday.

Just five points separate the bottom nine clubs in a hotly-contested relegation battle, while Leeds are bidding for their second league win in 14 matches and just their second on the road this season.

“There are many teams involved in relegation,” Gracia added. “As I told you many times, we are focused on the next game, giving the most importance to the points in play.

“We know it will be like this until the end. We have to be ready and focused in every game – trying to give our best. I’m sure we will be fighting until the end.

“When I came here three weeks ago, I knew the objective was to remain in the Premier League and I’m sure of that.”

Adams’ USA team-mate Weston McKennie is likely to return to the starting line-up alongside Marc Roca, but Gracia said Darko Gyabi and Archie Gray offered alternative options.

Gracia confirmed Leeds skipper Liam Cooper, included in Scotland’s squad this week, will be in contention after his recent struggles with injury.

Cooper has not appeared since the defeat at Nottingham Forest in early February due to knee and muscle problems.

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