No Raphinha risks for Leeds United as Robin Koch is sent for minor surgery

Leeds United defender Robin Koch has flown to the United States for a minor operation on the injury that has stalled his season, and Patrick Bamford will miss Saturday's Premier League trip to Southampton.

Now coach Marcelo Bielsa is waiting to see what condition winger Raphinha returns from after his first taste of international football before deciding if he can feature at St Mary's.

Brazilian Raphinha has been a substitute in his World Cup qualifiers in Venezuela and Colombia but such has been the quality of his performances, many are expecting him to make his first international start at home to Uruguay in the early hours of Friday morning UK time.

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It will leave him little opportunity to recover before Leeds's next Premier League match, at Southampton at 3pm on Saturday. The winger has arguably been the Whites' outstanding player so far this season, and Bielsa says he will take no risks.

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Raphinha on his most recent appearance for Leeds United, at home to Watford

"There's no doubt there's a short turnaround and the options he has to participate in the game on Saturday depend on whether he plays the final game, how many minutes he plays, how he finishes the game after he's participated in it, how efficient the rest he can have in the next 36 hours is considering a third of those hours he's going to spend flying," he said.

"If there's any risk that fatigue could cause injury we won't risk him."

Germany defender Koch played the opening game of the season at Manchester United but has not featured since because of a pelvic problem.

"Koch is in the United States where he's going to undergo a simple procedure to try and solve this problem in the pubis," explained Bielsa.

Bamford was initially expected to be out for four weeks after injuring his ankle at Newcastle United on September 17 but with that timeframe now reached, Bielsa is hesitant to put a date on the England striker's return.

Adam Forshaw and Crysencio Summerville are available after recovering from injury and illness respectively but Luke Ayling was described as being at "the halfway stage of his recovery" from a knee problem.