Scott Wootton has been ruled out of Leeds United’s game against Middlesbrough with an ankle injury which could keep the defender on the sidelines for several weeks.
Wootton’s absence will see Marius Zaliukas make his full Leeds debut on Saturday as manager Brian McDermott turns to his latest signing to fill the gap in United’s defence.
Zaliukas, who played for Lithuania in a 1-1 draw with Moldova on Monday night, has featured twice for United since joining the club on a short-term contract last month and replaced an injured Wootton at half-time of Leeds’ 4-2 win at Charlton Athletic a week and a half ago.
Wootton twisted his ankle on a pitch at The Valley which was peppered with rain on the day of the game and survived two inspections. Doubt about it forced the fixture to kick off 30 minutes late.
McDermott said: “I don’t think the pitch helped and he won’t be ready for Saturday.
“He’ll be out for a while but I’m not really able to put a timescale on it. We’re lucky that we’ve got Marius ready to come in.”
Zaliukas has twice been used by Leeds to step in for injured defenders, making his debut i