LEEDS have been dealt a cruel blow with Robin Koch forced to undergo surgery after further damaging his knee in the loss to Chelsea at the weekend.
The German defender, 24, first injured his knee during the opening Premier League game of the season – the 4-3 loss at Liverpool.
Koch has since played in all ten of his Leeds‘ league games, as well as four international games.
But he sustained more damage in the 3-1 defeat at Chelsea with the club’s medical staff insisting he goes under the knife to rectify the problem.
A club statement read: “Leeds United defender Robin Koch will undergo knee surgery in London on Tuesday for an injury picked up in Saturday’s Premier League game at Chelsea.
“Robin initially injured his knee during his club debut against Liverpool.
“But under the guidance of the club’s medical and science staff, played a full part in all ten Premier League games prior to Saturday and four national team games, including three games in six days in the November international break.
“Unfortunately, following a collision in the Chelsea game, he suffered further damage to the knee.
“The club have made the decision that surgery is required to remedy the problem.”
Leeds are now left with just two senior centre-backs in the squad.
Diego Llorente – who joined from Real Sociedad in the summer – and captain Liam Cooper are likely to hold down the fort until Koch returns.
But as yet there is no timescale on the German’s comeback.
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa could also turn to youngsters Pascal Struijk, 21, and Oliver Casey, 19, in the heart of his defence.