Garry Monk could really do with Chris Wood being fit for Leeds United’s match against Reading on Saturday. Still with an outside chance of automatic promotion, Leeds would further cement their play-off place with a victory over Jaap Stam’s men.
That’s why reports from New Zealand of Chris Wood picking up an injury have caused worry among Leeds United’s support. Monk will have already been concerned about Wood’s fitness ahead of Reading, given the long flight back after a Tuesday match.
It was unlikely New Zealand would struggle against Fiji without the Leeds United star, and that proved the case as they won 2-0. There are now suggestions that Wood’s situation is surrounded by ‘mystery’ and perhaps he was never going to play anyway.
TV NZ report Wood’s absence, and the circumstances surrounding it, as a bigger story that the match itself. It was announced ‘just before kick-off’ that the Leeds player was out with injury, leaving many fans attending the game disappointed.
Wood’s withdrawal has ’caused a stir’, and the explanation of manager Anthony Hudson that the striker got a ‘knock in the back’ in New Zealand’s previous match isn’t universally accepted as the reason for his absence.
Hudson saying he ‘didn’t wan’t to take any chances at this stage of the season’ suggests the withdrawal has more to do with Leeds United than the Kiwis. TV NZ report that Wood should be available to face Reading, and that seems to have been the plan all along.
Wood actually left New Zealand on Monday, but was still on the circulated team-sheet on Tuesday. Hudson said he didn’t reveal Wood’s absence until less than an hour before kick-off due to ‘technical reasons’.
TV NZ are confident that ‘Woodsy’ won’t be missing the Confederations Cup in Russia, which starts in June.