Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen is optimistic star-midfielder Pablo Hernandez will be available for selection again ahead of his side's trip to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, despite limping off with an injury during their 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on Friday night.
The 32-year-old was removed from proceedings by his manager in the first-half of the Elland road stalemate after picking up a hamstring strain.
But the 44-year-old manager has revealed he made the decision, which he believes was a contributing factor in the opposition's fight back, in order to prevent the issue becoming a greater problem.
"He had a muscle problem which he felt a little bit", the Dane told the Yorkshire Evening Post when asked about his attacker's opening 45 minutes substitution.
"In that moment he was clever and he understood that it’s better to come out so it didn’t get worse."
However, the Peacocks head coach has hinted that the Spaniard should be fit enough to at least feature during their upcoming clash at Loftus Road, along with Stuart Dallas and Eunan O’Kane - who both missed out on the draw with the Villans with injuries.
"In these games I need players who are 100 per cent ready. But I believe that Stuey will be close (for QPR), Eunan will be there. Pablo I also believe will be there", Christiansen added.
Hernandez has been a key catalyst in Leeds' recent resurgence in form, with his re-introduction into the side a telling factor in the club's recovery from seven defeats in nine games.
Friday night's draw kept United well within a shout of a play-off place, with the Yorkshire club now lying just five points behind Derby County in the race for the Wembley Stadium showdown.