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Leeds United's Eunan O'Kane disappointed with Luke Ayling news

Luke Ayling of Leeds United prepares to take a throw in during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on October 31, 2017 in Leeds, England.

Leeds United's Luke Ayling has been ruled out for the season.

Luke Ayling and Souleymane Doukara of Leeds United congratulate each other after the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on February 25,...

Eunan O'Kane has told LUTV that he is "hugely disappointed" for Leeds United team-mate Luke Ayling after his season-ending diagnosis.

The right-back will play no further part in Leeds' promotion bid this season after being ruled out for the rest of the campaign with an ankle injury.

The popular Ayling, signed by Garry Monk in 2016, was tackled by Liam Bridcutt in the draw with Nottingham Forest on New Year's Day.

Luke Ayling of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on January 13, 2017 in Leeds, England.

It remains to be seen now whether the Whites play Gaetano Berardi - who has played at left-back all season - in Ayling's position or recall Lewie Coyle from his loan at Fleetwood Town.

The former Arsenal defender is a very likable figure, and O'Kane says that his team-mate will certainly be missed on and off the pitch.

Ashley Barnes of Burnley and Luke Ayling of Leeds in action during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Burnley and Leeds United at Turf Moor on September 19, 2017 in Burnley, England.

He told LUTV: "I'm hugely disappointed for Luke. It's terrible to miss such a long period of time with injury. He was really unlucky because it wasn't a bad tackle, it was just a coming together and to be out for that length of time is going to be a challenge in itself for him.

"From the group's point of view, he's a good character, he keeps morale high when we're in a bad spell and he'll certainly be missed in the coach on those long journies."

United, who sit sixth in the Championship, travel to Ipswich Town today.

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