Soccer: Leeds' Llorente could be out for a month, says Bielsa

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FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Newcastle United v Leeds United

(Reuters) - Leeds United defender Diego Llorente faces up to a month on the sidelines after picking up a muscle injury in Tuesday's 2-1 win at Newcastle United, manager Marcelo Bielsa said.

The 27-year-old Spain international, who has been plagued by injury problems since his arrival from Real Sociedad in the close season, made his first start for Leeds at St James' Park but limped off after just 10 minutes and was replaced by Pascal Struijk.

"It's a muscular injury and he's going to be out of the team for three or four weeks," Bielsa told reporters ahead of Sunday's trip to Leicester City.

"We are all trying to help him and support him through this injury."

Llorente is expected to miss Premier League games against Everton, Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa.

Bielsa also said Leeds would be open to extending the contract of Ezgjan Alioski, whose current deal expires at the end of the season.

"When it comes to a player staying at the club, the first and most important thing is that the player wants to stay. The player should choose the club and after that the club will decide," Bielsa said.

"I think if Alioski chooses Leeds, Leeds will choose Alioski."

Leeds are 12th in the table with 26 points from 19 games.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)