By Alex Stevens
Gaetano Berardi has been given the go ahead to start for Leeds in Tuesday night’s Championship clash against QPR, Steve Evans has confirmed.
The Leeds manager said Berardi is “available” despite having stitches on a nasty cut to his head in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Rotherham.
The Swiss defender, who is set to start against QPR at right-back, was left with blood streaming to his face after being caught by the elbow of Rotherham striker Matt Derbyshire, who was immediately sent off.
Berardi needed several minutes of treatment before returning to the field with his head heavily bandaged and was eventually substituted in the 74th minute.
“He’ll need a few more bandages and he’s had a few stitches but we’re happy with the way he’s healing up so he’s available,” said Evans on Monday, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Rotherham manager Neil Warnock described Derbyshire’s dismissal as “harsh” and said the club would appeal against it but Evans said: “They’ve got no chance with an appeal. I’ve watched it again and he (Derbyshire) clearly leads with his arm. It’s in an unnatural position so I don’t think they can have any complaints.
“I know Matt well and he’s not the type who goes looking to do that on purpose but he caught Berra and everyone saw the state he was in.”
Leeds have no other injury worries beyond the long-term ankle problem which has kept second-choice goalkeeper Ross Turnbull on the sidelines since October but both Marco Silvestri and Souleymane Doukara are suspended – the latter now one game into an eight-match ban for biting Fulham defender Fernando Amorebieta in February.