Steve Evans gives fitness update on Gaetano Berardi

Leeds United East Stand

The Swiss full-back is nearing a return for Leeds but still has a way to go.

Leeds United head coach Steve Evans says Gaetano Berardi is nearing a return to fitness at Elland Road, according to the Yorkshire Post.

The 27-year-old has already been out for two months but should be back training with the Leeds squad next week, Evans claims.

And the manager is excited to have as many players back to fitness as he can.

Berardi has been in form at Leeds this season, improving on a shaky debut campaign, although the versatile defender did end that one in similarly strong fashion.

The Scot told reporters: "He is back on the grass with the medical team and is running almost at full speed, twisting and turning. I would expect Bera to be in the group certainly by halfway through next week. Then as soon as he trains three or four days - and he’s an incredibly fit young man - (he’ll be back).

"Having every one of those big players back available again will help us."

Leeds have fared well without Berardi and there has been some praise for Scott Wootton of late.

However, Wootton remains unconvincing in the eyes of many fans and Berardi could thrive with Toumani Diagouraga covering for him from holding midfield.

Leeds face a tough test against in-form Nottingham Forest at Elland Road, although Evans' men aren't in bad form themselves.

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