Garry Monk says Leeds will not take risks with this player

Leeds manager Garry Monk

The Whites boss is not willing to gamble with the fitness of a key star.

Liam Bridcutt Leeds United in action with Jack Payne of Huddersfield Town

Leeds United manager Garry Monk has stressed that he will be taking no risks on the fitness of captain Liam Bridcutt, speaking to LUTV.

Bridcutt joined the Whites permanently in the summer after a successful loan spell last term and was made Monk's captain after the former Swansea manager's arrival.

However, the 27-year-old managed just four appearances at the start of this season, the most recent of those coming in mid-September, before suffering a foot injury.

That problem has ruled him out for over two months, but the former Sunderland man is expected to return to first-team training next week.

However, Monk has dampened Leeds supporters' expectations of seeing the midfielder make a quick return to the pitch, insisting that he will not gamble with his skipper's fitness.

Monk told LUTV: "Of course we have a plan with him. Liam missed pre-season, which is vitally important for every player, and he has also missed a large chunk of this season already, so we have to be clever with him.Bridcutt Leeds

"Of course we want him back as soon as possible, he is an important player for us, but we have to do it right and make sure that he doesn't get any re-occurrence or put anything in jeopardy for the long term."

At present, Monk appears to have the luxury to be able to take his time with Bridcutt. Young midfielder Kalvin Phillips has performed admirably in the more experienced man's absence in recent weeks, being named the EFL Young Player of the Month.

However, Bridcutt's eventual return will give the Whites more options in central midfield, and fans will be keen to see him back on the field sooner rather than later - providing he is fully fit and ready, of course.

Leeds Bridcutt

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch