Leeds United have announced that defender Gaetano Berardi has been ruled out for approximately four months with a hamstring injury.
Berardi has established himself as a key part of the club's backline since arriving at Elland Road in 2014, and the 30-year-old has made eight Championship outings under new boss Marcelo Bielsa.
However, the Swiss had to be substituted during the first half of the fixture with Ipswich Town on October 24, and Bielsa revealed on Friday that he expected the player 'to be out for a long time'.
Leeds have now released a statement on Berardi, saying: "Leeds United can confirm that defender Gaetano Berardi has suffered a hamstring tendon rupture.
"Berardi has visited consultants in the UK and Italy over the past week to determine the best course of treatment for the injury and he has now returned to Thorp Arch to work with the club's medical staff. We expect the player to be missing for up to 16 weeks."
Leeds currently sit in second place in the league standings.