Gaetano Berardi is closing in on a return to first-team action after playing his first football since an ACL injury

Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi made his return to action on Monday afternoon, playing 45 minutes for the club’s under-23’s side.

The Swiss defender suffered a ruptured ACL last season, and has been recovering ever since, missing all 26 of the Whites’ league games so far.

Berardi’s contract was set to expire last summer, but Leeds extended it by a year so that the former Sampdoria defender could use the club’s facilities and have the chance to play in the Premier League for the first time.

That achievement is one step closer thanks to coming through 45 minutes against Crystal Palace unscathed, although he couldn’t help his side avoid a 2-0 defeat.

Berardi has been a regular in the Leeds side since signing back in 2014, appearing anywhere across the back four. Usually a right-back, the 32-year-old has played left-back regularly also, as well as alongside Liam Cooper in the middle in recent seasons.

He’s also one red card short of becoming Leeds’ most sent-off player ever, picking up six red cards during his time in England, something that has won him plenty of fans as well as critics at Elland Road.

Marcelo Bielsa will be hoping to have Berardi back sometime this month, with games against West Ham, Chelsea and Fulham on the horizon.

About the author

Marley Anderson

Sport Social Editor

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