By Will Butcher

Garry Monk is confident key duo Gaetano Berardi and Liam Cooper will be fit within days to dampen fears they may miss the start of the season.

Leeds have just returned from their pre-season trip to Ireland as they prepare for the forthcoming Championship campaign, which begins on 7 August against QPR.

Centre-back Cooper, who earned his first Scotland call up last season, played 39 times for Leeds last season but picked up a slight muscle injury earlier in the week.

Right-back Berardi has been out with strained ankle ligaments and was unable to feature against either Shelbourne or Shamrock during Leeds’ Ireland trip, with Lewie Coyle and young midfielder Alex Purver filling in for him.

Monk is confident Cooper and Berardi will not be sidelined for too long.

Asked how long the duo will be out for, the manager told the Leeds website, as cited by HITC: “That’s the only real disappointment from the trip.

“Obviously Coops [injury] was right at the very start – I think it was even before we had come out here – and obviously [it was] Bera at the beginning of the week. They’ve had checks so we’re talking days rather than weeks and months.”

Monk is desperate to have his best squad available as he aims to launch an assault on the top of the Championship table.

In other Leeds news, Monk has made a decision on this linked centre-back.