By Dominic Toner
Gaetano Berardi played for Leeds’ Under-23s on Monday night – and the club’s fans reacted on Twitter with delight to his return.
The 28-year-old featured as an over-age player alongside the club’s youngsters and played the first 45 minutes of the game against Bristol City.
The right-back was then withdrawn at half-time but he picked up some valuable game time minutes.
Leeds drew the match 1-1, with an equalising goal conceded when Berardi was off the pitch.
Berardi has been recovering from the hamstring injury he picked up in the opening day 3-0 defeat to QPR in the Championship.
The Switzerland international was forced off inside the first 20 minutes and has had to watch his team-mates endure a mixed start to the season.
Leeds were in poor form at the beginning of the campaign but have recently won their last four games consecutively.
Defender Luke Ayling has been the preferred option at right-back in Berardi’s absence and he may face a battle to regain his starting position.
The Leeds supporters were thrilled on Twitter that Berardi played for the Under-23s and are already discussing a formidable partnership with centre-back Pontus Jansson.
— Ryan (@LeedsUtdRyan) September 26, 2016
— Tommo (@LUFC1992) September 26, 2016
Seriously though imagine Jansson and Berardi in defence. #lufc
— Irish_Leeds (@Irish_Leeds) September 26, 2016
— Lewìs (@LewisNelson123) September 26, 2016
— James8303 (@James83303) September 26, 2016
Wouldn't complain at BPF and Berardi playing on Saturday https://t.co/PveCgmlwaK
— ADIOSMASSIMOLAD (@SackoTheManager) September 26, 2016
a Berardi and Jansson pairing across our back 4 will be a beautiful sight two warriors who'll run themselves into the ground for this club
— Armo #LS39 (@Jordan_Armo) September 26, 2016
— Mark Burke (@BurkeAlfie2011) September 26, 2016
Jansson, who moved to Elland Road on loan from Italian side Torino, has become an instant favourite with the Leeds fans.
Berardi is also considered an important member of the side and he has made 54 appearances since his arrival in 2014.
In other Leeds team news, their senior man has reacted after his team-mate was criticised by a fan on Twitter.