If there was one member of the Leeds squad that deserved a run of luck, it is surely Matthew Downing. At a time when Marcelo Bielsa has been forced to bring the average age of the Whites first-team right down, the defender has been enduring a nightmare spell due to injury.
Downing was one of the many exciting youngsters at Thorp Arch looking to try and force their way into the senior side at Elland Road. But a 19-month lay-off certainly set his progress back.
The 19-year-old returned from the best part of two years out in September, and would have been hoping that he could pick up where he left off and catch Bielsa's eye, especially after seeing the likes of Jamie Shackleton and Jack Clarke establish themselves as an important members of the side.
But unfortunately, the full-back has now confirmed on Twitter that he has suffered a broken leg. In an emotional post on social media, Downing sent out a defiant message about his comeback.
Here is Downing's tweet...
Gutted! Not what I needed at all to break my leg just as things were coming together again! But just gotta keep smiling and a huge thanks to my family, friends, coaches and physios for all your support over the last 24 hours! I’ll be back sooner rather than later ⚽️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/IczCmy1bfH— Matthew Downing (@MatthewDownin14) January 6, 2019
The news feels even more disappointing as it came on the day that Leeds faced QPR in the third round of the FA Cup with an 18-man matchday squad that included 12 players who have spent time coming through the club's academy.
Downing may have another spell on the sidelines ahead of him, but his message certainly suggests that the idea of the teenager joining the fellow academy stars in the first-team at some stage should not be written off yet by any means.
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