Leeds United striker Rodrigo is set for two months out of action due to injury, the club have announced.
His absence stems from an ankle injury sustained during last Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round clash against Accrington Stanley. The Spanish international “suffered bone and ligament damage” and is understood to have “undergone minor surgery” to rectify the issue.
The 31-year-old has enjoyed his most fruitful season since joining the Whites from Valencia in the summer of 2020, scoring 12 goals in 22 appearances.
Leeds head coach Jesse Marsch will now presumably turn to his squad’s other attacking talents – such as the newly returned Patrick Bamford and club record signing Georginio Rutter – to fill the gap left by Rodrigo’s absence.
“The medical team at Thorp Arch are confident that Rodrigo will return to play by the end of March”, the statement added.
A significant blow, but opportunity knocks for others
Just when it appeared Rodrigo was hitting his stride and showing that he was worth the £26m fee that Leeds paid for him in 2020, this happens. It’s hard not to feel for the Spanish striker, who has clearly worked on his game to reach the heights he has hit this season.
For other players such as Bamford and Rutter however, opportunity knocks. The chance is now there for both of them to play themselves well into contention, even when Rodrigo returns from injury.
Given the quality of Bamford’s performances since his own return from the physio’s table it is likely Marsch will favour a straight swap – Bamford in for the injured Rodrigo.
This would leave new signing Rutter occupying either a wide position alongside Bamford as part of a 4-3-3 formation, or maybe even as a more direct strike partnership if Marsch opts for a narrower 4-2-2-2.
Leeds fans will be wishing Rodrigo well in the meantime and also be hoping that he can get back to his goalscoring ways when he returns in March.