Leicester reluctant to rush Vardy return despite striker shortage

Leicester reluctant to rush Jamie Vardy back from injury despite Kelechi Iheanacho’s AFCON departure leaving Brendan Rodgers without a natural striker ahead of a crucial month of rearranged fixtures

  • Jamie Vardy sustained a hamstring injury in Leicester’s recent win vs Liverpool 
  • The 34-year-old is expected to spend three to four weeks on the sidelines
  • He will not be rushed back from injury despite Leicester’s shortage of strikers
  • Kelechi Iheanacho is at AFCON with Nigeria and Patson Daka is also out injured

Leicester are reluctant to rush Jamie Vardy back from his hamstring injury despite their severe lack of options in attack.

The club’s top scorer is currently sidelined after playing through the pain barrier during the Foxes’ shock 1-0 win over Liverpool on December 28.

Vardy’s absence has left boss Brendan Rodgers without an orthodox striker, as Patson Daka is also injured and Kelechi Iheanacho has linked up with Nigeria for the Africa Cup of Nations, which starts on Sunday. Until Daka is back, Rodgers is likely to use Harvey Barnes or Ayoze Perez in attack.

Leicester are reluctant to rush Jamie Vardy back from injury despite their striker shortage

Vardy sustained a hamstring problem during the Foxes’ 1-0 win over Liverpool last month

Vardy has usually returned from injuries quickly yet given his importance to the team, and the stage of his career – Vardy turns 35 on January 11 – the club are likely to err on the side of caution this time. 

He was initially ruled out for three to four weeks but that is thought to be a minimum time frame.

When Vardy was injured against Liverpool, Leicester had already used their three substitutes. ‘He was coming off,’ said Rodgers. ‘But the warrior he is, he didn’t want to. If we could have made another sub that would have helped protect him.’

Kelechi Iheanacho’s Africa Cup of Nations departure has left Brendan Rodgers short upfront

Rodgers is unlikely to be impressed that Leicester’s matches against Tottenham and Everton, postponed because of the number of Covid-19 cases in the squad, have been rearranged for this month. They face Everton on Tuesday before taking on Spurs on January 19.

Speaking last month, Rodgers said: ‘There’s talk of our games being rearranged for January which is ludicrous after the period we have come off.’

Leicester have little room for manoeuvre in this transfer window but a loan move for a centre-back is a possibility, with Wesley Fofana, Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu injured, and Daniel Amartey and Wilfred Ndidi at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana and Nigeria respectively.

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