Harvey Barnes is due to have surgery on his knee injury on Tuesday but Leicester’s growing injury crisis could soon be boosted by the return of James Maddison, who is hoping to be back on the grass later this week.
Manager Brendan Rodgers was reluctant to put a timetable on Maddison’s recovery but he confirmed the medical staff are optimistic about going through running and movement patterns with the midfielder this week. The next step will be kicking a ball again.
‘He’s feeling better so we’re hopeful that later in the week he can get some movement out on the grass,’ he said.
Harvey Barnes is expected to have surgery on his knee on Tuesday after injury against Arsenal
In a boost for Leicester is hoped that James Maddison may start his return to training this week
Rodgers admitted after Sunday’s defeat by Arsenal that Leicester were down to the ‘bare bones’ following further injuries to Barnes and defender Jonny Evans.
He provided updates on Monday, confirming Barnes’ knee injury is not as bad as they feared – but he will still be out for around six weeks.
‘We’re hopeful he’ll be going in for surgery tomorrow,’ Rodgers said. ‘Part of the patella has separated in the knee.
‘So that’s come away so it’s just a repair job and hopefully he can be back in six weeks which is obviously much better news than we thought it could have been, especially with the likes of JJ’s (James Justin suffered a season-ending ACL injury) and one or two of the other boys we’ve had knee issues with.’
Jonny Evans came off with a calf injury against Arsenal to add to Leicester’s list of concerns
As for Evans, who came off with a calf problem against Arsenal, Rodgers said: ‘He’ll have a scan later today just to see where that’s at.
‘Jonny is from the old school, he’ll play through anything and everything to help out his team. It’s been an issue for a few weeks and early in the game it was aggravated to a point where later on he couldn’t continue.’
There were also scares over Jamie Vardy’s groin but Rodgers is confident he is suffering from nothing more than soreness.
Leicester’s mounting injury crisis – which sees eight first-team players out – has prevented the manager from giving Vardy, 34, and Youri Tielemans valuable time to rest.
Brendan Rodgers admitted his side do not have the squad depth of many of their rivals
‘We don’t have the depth of a lot of other squads,’ Rodgers said. ‘We can’t go on too much about it, it’s just unfortunate we’ve got a lot of talent out but we’ll always look to find a way to gain a result.’
Leicester have suffered back to back defeats which saw them exit the Europa League and slip up in the race for the top four.
With 12 games to go, however, Rodgers side remain third and the manager believes that is a better achievement than last season, when they were in a near-identical position after 26 matches before eventually missing out on Champions League football.
But he praised his players for responding to the challenges in such impressive fashion so far
‘In terms of up to this point, yes. Because we’ve had injuries of course but we’ve also had European football to contend with,’ he said.
‘That can prove difficult. The players have been absolutely brilliant up to this point but we haven’t done anything yet.
‘People talk about the top four but my attitude is always: we’re not in the top four until we see where we are at the final game of the season. There’s nothing to lose as we haven’t got anything yet.’