Leeds United expect to be without Tom Lees for at least the next fortnight after the defender was diagnosed with damage to the retina in one eye.
Lees missed Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Burnley after undergoing medical scans 24 hours earlier, and is set to be ruled out of United’s forthcoming games against Watford and Millwall.
The England Under-21 international was hurt in bizarre circumstances during the first half of Leeds’ 2-2 draw with Brighton last week.
An unintentional blow to the face temporarily blinded Lees in one eye, forcing him to leave the field shortly before half-time.
He underwent hospital treatment on the south coast before travelling home, with manager Neil Warnock describing the injury as “a worry”.
Warnock has now confirmed that the centre-back will be sidelined for a number of weeks, an absence which could see him sit out as many as five Championship matches.
Warnock said: “He’s going to be a few weeks and that’s if we’re fortunate. He’s got a little hole in his retina.
“It’s quite a common thing and not as serious as it sounds. He was poked in the eye and apparently it takes a couple of weeks to heal.”
Lees has been almost ever-present in Warnock’s line-up this season, starting 16 games in succession before dropping out of the side at Burnley.
The injury sustained at Brighton ended a troubling week for Lees, who was told ahead of the trip south that he was to be charged by Serbian police over his involvement in a brawl between the England and Serbia Under-21 squads in Krusevac last month.
Meanwhile, there was fresh conjecture in the takeover of Leeds by Dubai-based GFH Capital last night.
Reports claimed the sale of the club could be finalised by this weekend, but a senior source at GFH Capital said a conclusion in that timescale was “unlikely”.
The source said: “We’re getting there and this really is in the final stages.
“I wouldn’t rule out a deal before the weekend but I think it’s unlikely. We’ve still got documents to process and work to complete. But the deal’s very close.”