Luke Ayling set to switch to centre ground for Leeds United's battle with Derby
Centre-back Cooper hobbled off with a knee injury during the second half of Monday night’s 2-1 third round FA Cup win at Cambridge United. It was the last thing Monk needed with Leeds already facing up to being without Pontus Jansson, who serves a two-match suspension after being shown a yellow card in the cup triumph.
Cooper left the ground on crutches but Monk will assess the defender during training at Thorp Arch on Thursday and remains optimistic that he could still be in line to face the Rams.
Should Cooper be sidelined, however, right-back Ayling would likely have to fill in and partner Kyle Bartley at the heart of the defence.
“He (Luke) can cover that position so that’s obviously a strength,” said Monk. “But of course you don’t want to try and move players too much out of their positions.
“We are hopeful that Coops will be okay and that we won’t have to move too many, but if we do then obviously we will come up with the right way to do it.
“Because of the tight turnaround in games with the fixture list that we have been given, all of the players are on a second day of recovery.
“We did a bit of tactical work with the group but very minimal today so really it’s tomorrow that we will get the gauge on the group and who is fit and who is ready to play the games.
“We are hopeful that with Coops there’s a possibility of him making it.”
Asked if Taylor would be fit to face the Rams on Friday after a recent lay-off with an Achilles injury, Monk admitted: “Charlie won’t be.
“It’s difficult because it’s a day-to-day process.
“It’s an Achilles injury and it’s more down to soreness than the actual injury and it’s down to that daily process of monitoring Charlie and seeing when it can fully heal because there’s no point in risking a player to come back for a game and that might risk him being out for a longer period.
“He’s not ready for this game and that’s disappointing because we all want to see Charlie and we all want to see players out on the pitch.
“But we have to take it on a daily basis and assess him as we go along.”