This season is already beginning to feel like the last one for Leeds United - and it hasn't even started yet.
Earlier this week it was announced by the Whites that Kemar Roofe would be sidelined for around a month with an ankle injury.
And now right-back Luke Ayling has been ruled out of Leeds' start to the season after undergoing ankle surgery, according to BBC Sport.
Roofe and Ayling are two major players for United boss Marcelo Bielsa and to be missing both for next Sunday's trip to Bristol City is a bit concerning.
Bielsa had to contend with a ridiculous number of injuries to key personnel last season and it undoubtedly impacted his ability to mastermind a promotion-winning season.
And Leeds fans, whose side were knocked out of the playoffs by Derby County in May, are worried by the Ayling development.
Luke Ayling has had surgery on an ankle problem. No exact timescale for comeback yet but not expected to be long-term. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) July 26, 2019
Unfortunately this feels strangely like last season already— MarkforeverLeeds (@MarkLawrence88) July 26, 2019
This club is bizarre even in a preseason half our squad are on the bloody medic table— Mr Glassalfempty (@TheMilkSteakKid) July 26, 2019
Is this some kind of sick joke!!— Brian O Donovan (@cremdementhe90) July 26, 2019
Gonna be at least 6 weeks I reckon— mightywhite92 (@mightywhite83) July 26, 2019
Can we just have no injuries at all— Phillips The Messiah (@itsdommasefield) July 26, 2019
Squads getting thinner before we’ve even started ☹️— mangelwurzel (@cheeno64) July 26, 2019
Luckily for Bielsa, he has a number of able deputees. There is a few options in the form of Gaetano Berardi and Stuart Dallas who could step in for the former Arsenal defender.
But the Leeds coach will still want him back as soon as possible, irrespective of the fact that he has decent cover.
It's promotion or bust for Bielsa at Elland Road this term and obviously he doesn't need another season-long injury crisis.
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