Leeds United manager Thomas Christiansen says Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was taken off at half-time in the Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester City due to an ankle injury. The on-loan Manchester United defender was making his fourth consecutive start in the competition at the King Power Stadium but despite an impressive opening 45 minutes was withdrawn at the break.
Borthwick-Jackson's opportunities have been limited since moving to Elland Road for the duration of the 2017-18 season in August making just five appearances in all competitions, four of which have come in the second-tier cup competition.
The visit to 2015-16 Premier League champions Leicester on Tuesday [24 October] presented Borthwick-Jackson with another opportunity to impress for Leeds, having previously been replaced after just 60 minutes of the third round win over Burnley. Christiansen was impressed by his display but confirmed his premature withdrawal came due to injury.
"He was playing a good game, of course," he told BBC Radio Leeds of the United loanee. "At half-time, we changed him because he had a problem in the ankle, but his performance was much better than at Burnley, and I said to him that he had to be more focused and more aggressive in all these situations and he reacted well on that.
The Dane added: "I think we faced a very strong team that particularly in the second showed their quality in their players, the speed they put in the game. But in the first half I am very satisfied. We payed face-to-face with a Premier League team We kept them down in terms of opportunities and scored one nice goal and had the illusion that we could reach the next round.
"If we got to half time at 1-0 we would have had better possibilities, it would have been difficult anyway. But we would have had a much better possibility to pass. They put two of the best they have in the second half. What In wanted them to do was the chance to play against a Premier League club away and to enjoy this day, this is a bonus."
Christiansen did not provide a prognosis on the 20-year-old's condition, though having started at Leicester he was already unlikely to feature for Leeds in the visit of Sheffield United on Friday [27 October]. Borthwick-Jackson has only played one Championship fixture this season against Preston North End and has not featured in the matchday squad in any of the last eight league games.
There is no indication that Borthwick-Jackson will return to United for treatment due to the severity of the problem, but it remains to be seen whether the 45-minute outing will be enough to convince Christiansen he is worthy of further first team opportunities.
Should his marginalisation continue then United could opt to recall Borthwick-Jackson much in the same way they did with the left-back last season, when his limited opportunities at Wolverhampton Wanderers saw his spell cut short in February. He went on to spend the remainder of the campaign playing for the club's Under-23 side.
A special agreement between the clubs allowed United to recall him on the basis he did not play in senior matches but he was named in just one matchday squad for Wolves in 2017 – the 4-4 draw with Fulham.