By Will Butcher
Gaetano Berardi has stepped up his Leeds comeback but will not return to the first team until after the international break, according to a reliable journalist.
The 28-year-old has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since Leeds’ first game of the season and now looks set to miss the next two league matches, against Bristol City on Tuesday night and Barnsley on Saturday.
The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Chief Football Writer Phil Hay revealed on his personal Twitter account that the former Swansea boss was intending to bring back Berardi after the international break.
Forty five minutes for Gaetano Berardi with U23s tonight and looks to have come through fine. Monk plans to use him again after int. break
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) September 26, 2016
Former Sampdoria right-back Berardi is likely to play some part against under-fire promotion hopefuls Derby County on October 15, as the Championship takes two weeks off for internationals to represent their countries.
It remains to be seen whether the aggressive defender will be considered first choice by Monk, who has since brought in Luke Ayling and spoken highly of young right-back Lewie Coyle.
Former Arsenal youth player Ayling has been in impressive form following his move from Leeds’ Tuesday night opponents, Bristol City.
Monk could leave his defence untouched following three clean sheets on the bounce, meaning Berardi may have to wait for his chance.
The Yorkshire giants will be looking to continue their impressive run of form of late with a fifth consecutive win against Bristol City on Tuesday night.