Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott has come out in support of Pascal Struijk after Leeds United lost their appeal against his red card in Sunday’s Premier League clash between the two teams.
Struijk was sent off for a strong challenge on Elliott in the second half of Leeds’ 3-0 defeat at Elland Road, which left the midfielder with a dislocated ankle.
Replays showed that the defender won the ball, but the Whites have seen their bid to get the red card overturned rejected, which has prompted an empathetic reaction from Elliott.
The Liverpool starlet took to social media to comment on a post from Sky Sports’ Instagram account on Wednesday morning.
"Sorry about this Pascal! I think it’s wrong!" Elliot wrote. "But it’ll soon be over brother and you’ll be back in no timer smashing it again. Keep positive."
Struijk sent his own message to Elliott via social media after the game, insisting he never intended to cause his opponent injury before wishing him well in his rehabilitation programme.
"In today’s game, something happened that I would never wish on anyone! @harveyelliott07, my thoughts are with you," he said on Instagram. "I’m gutted and never meant for this to happen. I wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you back on the pitch soon.”
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, meanwhile, jumped to the defence of Struijk in his post-match interview, telling reporters: "I am 100 per cent sure that Pascal did not have a bad intention.
"These types of (tackle) are totally frequent. I regret dearly that such a young player playing at such a high level has been interrupted."
How long will Elliott be out for?
Liverpool gave an update on Elliott’s condition following the Leeds encounter confirming that he sustained a fractured ankle.
Club doctor Jim Moxon wasn’t able to give a specific timeframe for his recovery, but did express his belief that the 22-year-old will return before the end of the current season.
"Harvey sustained a fracture-dislocation of his left ankle during the game," said Moxton. "We were able to reduce the dislocation immediately on the pitch and Harvey had surgery today to repair the fracture and ligaments damaged in the incident. The operation was a success so his comeback starts now.
“We won’t put pressure on him by setting a specific timeframe beyond being able to say with confidence we expect him to feature again later in the season following our rehab programme.”