Pontus Jansson’s absence could speed up Gaetano Berardi’s Leeds United return

Leeds United's Pontus Jansson yells in pain during the Championship defeat to Sheffield United (Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage).
Leeds United's Pontus Jansson yells in pain during the Championship defeat to Sheffield United (Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage).
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Pontus Jansson could miss Leeds United’s games against Millwall and Birmingham City after being sidelined for up to three weeks.

The defender began his rehabilitation yesterday and is a major doubt for the club’s next two fixtures with a knee injury suffered in Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Sheffield United.

Jansson withdrew from international duty with Sweden yesterday to remain in England and undergo treatment on damage sustained towards the end of a tight derby at Elland Road.

He was hurt in a tackle on Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp, but played on to the final whistle in the absence of any remaining substitutes.

Jansson played up front towards the end of the match with his mobility limited and was forced to finish the game in goal after the dismissal of Kiko Casilla in stoppage-time.

United have a two-week break before their next match, at home to Millwall, and travel to Birmingham the following weekend.

A statement from Leeds read: “Pontus Jansson will not join up with the Swedish national team during the international break.

“The centre-back suffered an injury to his knee in Saturday’s game with Sheffield United, which will see him sidelined for three weeks.

“Jansson will begin his rehab at Thorp Arch with the Leeds United medical team this week.”

The Swede’s absence could hand Gaetano Berardi a first start since the torn hamstring he suffered in November.

Berardi completed a lengthy recovery period last month and was on the bench at the weekend.

Writing on Instagram, Jansson said: “Everything happens for a reason. Thanks for your messages and see you soon.”

Goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell will be recalled to Leeds starting line-up for their clash with Millwall after the club chose not to appeal Casilla’s dismissal.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been charged with improper conduct by UEFA after his goal celebration in Juventus’ Champions League win over Atletico Madrid.

The Portugal international was seen gesturing towards fans – mimicking Diego Simeone from the first leg after which the Atletico manager was fined £17,000 for an “obscene” celebration.

It came after Ronaldo converted a late penalty for his hat-trick and a 3-0 victory which sent the Serie A side through on aggregate.