Gaetano Berardi undergoes surgery with Leeds United future undecided

Gaetano Berardi has gone under the knife in Spain.

Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi celebrations promotion at Derby County. (Picture: Varley Picture Agency)
Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi celebrations promotion at Derby County. (Picture: Varley Picture Agency)

Gaetano Berardi has undergone surgery having suffered an ACL tear in his knee whilst in action for Leeds United earlier this month.

The defender had to be stretchered off the field of play during the Whites' 3-1 victory over Derby County at Pride Park and scans later revealed that he had torn his ACL.

Berardi will be sidelined with the issue for at least nine months which has cast doubt over his Elland Road future.

The 31-year-old penned a month extension to his deal in West Yorkshire with his contract set to expire this summer following the mid-season hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani paid tribute to Berardi at the club's end of season awards - showing a video of his best moments during his time with Leeds - and appeared to leave the door open for him to return despite his injury.

"As you know, Gaetano has been here for six years," Radrizzani stated.

"Last week he got a bad injury so we don't know what's going on in his life, but we've prepared something to remind him he's Leeds, he's one of us whatever decision he will take.

"He knows he can count on me and I think you as well. Gaetano, thank you for your commitment."

Berardi made 25 appearances under Marcelo Bielsa this term as he helped the club end a 16-year absence from Premier League football by lifting the Championship title.

United celebrate at Derby post-match after being crowned champions as Berardi emerged on crutches to join his team-mates.

The former Swiss international posted an update on his official Instagram page after undergoing an operation in Barcelona after the season's conclusion.

The caption simply read "new knee" while a number of United players - including Kalvin Phillips, loanee Ben White, Tyler Roberts, Barry Douglas and Illan Meslier - all wished him well with his recovery in Spain.