In the midst of a battle to stave off relegation, Leeds United has suffered a blow with United States international Tyler Adams undergoing an operation for a hamstring injury, per a report from the Athletic. It was an injury that Adams picked up before the international break causing him to miss wins against Grenada and El Salvador for his national team side. There’s no official timetable for his return according to the Athletic but with Leed’s next few games seeing them face Arsenal, Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace, and Liverpool, Adams missing any time for the club is quite a loss.
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The heartbeat of the Leeds United midfield, Adams consistently turns defense into attack, attempting the second most tackles in the Premier League behind only Joao Palhinha of Fulham. Fellow United States international Weston McKennie partnered with Marc Roca in their win against Wolverhampton Wanderers, but it was a very different type of match seeing Leeds score four goals to ensure victory.
Already struggling defensively allowing 44 goals through 27 matches played, any time without Adams creates a challenge for new manager Javi Gracia. Leeds are only two points above the relegation zone despite sitting in 14th place in the league as the race to avoid the drop is a crowded one this season. Everyy team from 12th on down could fall as only four points separate Crystal Palace in 12th place from Southampton in 20th place.
If Gracia can get the attack to score with regularity again they may be able to stave off the absence of Adams, but adding in that Willy Gnoto and Max Wober also sustained injuries on international duty and Gracia will have quite a job to keep this team from avoiding the drop. Without at least six points in these next four matches Leeds could be in the relegation zone by the time that Adams returns.
It would add quite a bit of uncertainty to the club as McKennie’s loan from Juventus only becomes permanent if the club avoids relegation but injuries have plagued the Whites all season. From starting the campaign without Stuart Dallas available to losing top scorer Rodrigo for extended periods of time, Jesse Marsch and now Gracia haven’t had their best squads available for extended periods of time.
But in the Premier League, hard luck in the physio’s room is enough to see a team get relegated, a future that is becoming more real by the day for Leeds United. If Adams isn’t able to return soon, it will be the latest in a series of blows to seal the team’s fate of a return to the Championship.