England midfielder Kalvin Phillips needed treatment for a head injury after a team-bonding session with Leeds United team-mates ahead of the Christmas period of fixtures, it can be revealed.
Marcelo Bielsa gave his squad a day off on Monday following their defeat to Tottenham Hotspur and granted permission for an evening together for players who remained in London after the weekend fixture.
Players were at Cirque Le Soir, a nightclub popular with Premier League stars, when Phillips caught his head and needed treatment for what has been described as a graze that caused a cut.
England’s player-of-the-year for 2021 has been assessed by Leeds’ club doctor and passed fit to train as scheduled on Tuesday, which will make him available for Saturday’s clash against Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
Bielsa granted the evening of socialising for his players, who missed out completely on a Christmas party last season due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Leeds manager always gives players the Monday off after a Sunday game and moved training back for players to return.
With most clubs having six games or more in December, the traditional festive celebrations for players has proved difficult to arrange and it was Leeds’ only chance for a team-bonding session before the hectic run of fixtures starts.
Phillips has been one of Bielsa’s most important players this season in his “Yorkshire Pirlo” role in front of the back four, only missing games last month when he picked up a calf problem. At Spurs, he was more of a sweeper and was Leeds’ stand-out player as they took the lead before getting clawed back.
For England he was one of Gareth Southgate’s best players at the European Championships, featuring in every game on the run to the final, where they were defeated by Italy at Wembley.