By Will Butcher
Garry Monk has revealed Leeds’ injury-prone defender Gaetano Berardi is week away from being ready for selection.
The Switzerland international has failed to feature for the Yorkshire giants since the opening game of the season, after limping off with a hamstring injury inside the first 20 minutes of Leeds’ dismal 3-0 loss to QPR.
He had been expected to be in contention for a return this week but Monk revealed there has been a setback in the 28-year-old’s recovery and he might need to play for the Under-23s before making his senior comeback.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Leeds’ home game against Ipswich on Saturday, Monk was quoted by Leeds’ official Twitter account as saying that Berardi is not ready to return.
“Berardi is still a couple of weeks away from being ready for selection,” Monk said, as quoted by Leeds’ official Twitter account. “He might need some Under-23s game time.”
— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 22, 2016
Berardi returned to training on Monday night, but failed to make the bench during Leeds’ EFL Cup third round tie against Blackburn as Monk’s men secured their third win on the bounce thanks to Chris Wood’s late winner in a 1-0 win.
The former Sampdoria right-back may find it difficult to walk back into the Leeds first team though, after new signing Luke Ayling has impressed following his £750,000 move from Championship rivals Bristol City.
Leeds will be looking to make it four wins on the spin against Ipswich on Saturday at Elland Road, as a win could take them into the top half of the Championship table for the first time this season.
In other Leeds news, Monk has claimed this striker is playing very well despite criticism.