By Alex Stevens
Gaetano Berardi was not selected for the Leeds Under-23 side on Wednesday night because he played in a behind-closed-doors game earlier in the day, according to a reliable journalist.
The Yorkshire Evening Post claimed on Wednesday morning that the Switzerland international was in line to feature for the club’s development side against Bolton.
Berardi, 28, hasn’t made an appearance for the Yorkshire giants’ senior team since suffering a hamstring injury during the season opener against QPR.
But he is on the comeback trail as he sets his sights on a first-team return after the international break.
Thom Kirwin, a journalist and radio presenter who is a reliable supplier of Leeds news, revealed on his personal Twitter account that Berardi was omitted after joining other first-team squad members in a game at the club’s Thorp Arch headquarters on Wednesday.
No Berardi for #lufc U23s tonight – he and other 1st team squad members played behind closed doors game at Thorp Arch earlier…
— Thom Kirwin (@Thomkirwin) October 5, 2016
Berardi completed a 45-minute runout for the Under-23s against Bristol City nine days ago in his first match since limping out of the Championship opener against QPR.
Berardi started the campaign as Garry Monk’s first choice right-back, but Garry Monk subsequently signed Luke Ayling from Bristol City with 20-year-old Lewis Coyle the only other recognised right-back at the club.
Berardi, who completed a move from Sampdoria in 2014, does have a history of injuries after he was sidelined by ankle ligament damage twice last season and was forced to miss parts of pre-season with a thigh strain.
The Yorkshire giants will take on struggling Derby in 10 days and the Swiss full-back will be hoping to make his first team return against the Rams.