Report: Leeds suffer major blow as Gaetano Berardi is set to miss next eight weeks with ankle injury

The right-back was stretchered off during the goalless draw with Charlton.

Leeds have suffered a huge injury blow ahead of the busy Christmas period, after the Yorkshire Evening Post reported that Gaetano Berardi is set to miss the next eight weeks after being stretchered off during Saturday's goalless draw with Charlton.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reports that a scan revealed that the 27-year-old had suffered ligament damage to his ankle following a challenge in the latter stages of the clash at The Valley.

With Berardi now out until February, Steve Evans is left with a few options at right-back. 

With Sam Byram's contract situation at Elland Road leading Evans to suggest that he is sold in January (via Yorkshire Evening Post), Scott Wootton is the most obvious candidate to replace Berardi. Leeds' utility man has only been used on the right of the back four this season, and started the game against the Addicks having filled in for Berardi during the Swiss' recent suspension. 

While Evans may be tempted to turn to Byram - much like he did for the last few minutes against Charlton, having already replaced Wootton with Berardi - his probable January departure may see academy graduate Lewie Coyle given a chance to impress. 

A third option perhaps, may see the Whites stick with Wootton until the window, before looking to bring someone in, possibly on a temporary basis to act as cover before Berardi returns. 

While Evans has several choices in front of him, there is no question that Berardi's loss will be a significant blow ahead of the hectic run that could see United move away from the Championship relegation battle, or get dragged right into it. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch