Leicester City

Leicester City

Premier League • England

Rodgers reveals lingering Vardy issue as Leicester prepare for ‘special’ game

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers will still not be able to call upon Jamie Vardy for the first leg of the Europa Conference League quarter-final between Leicester City and PSV Eindhoven.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the Foxes manager confirmed the striker is still suffering with the effects of a knee injury he picked up one month ago in a win over Leeds United.

It means Leicester City will have to navigate a tricky tie in Europe without their main man up front.

There have been positive steps towards his return, with Rodgers confirming Vardy can run again. However, any timeframe for his return remains unclear.

Rodgers said: “It is hard to put a timeline on it. He is still feeling pain within the knee.

“He can run and he is outside, but when he is striking the ball there is an issue, so we will have to get to the bottom of that.

“I just spoke to Jamie. He had been outside, running in straight lines. It was just when he was opening up the MCL (medial collateral ligament) a bit when he is striking the ball that he was getting some pain in that.

“I will have to speak to the medical team to see where that is at, but it doesn’t sound as if he is too close to being back.”

Also unavailable for Leicester will be Wilfred Ndidi and Danny Ward due to knee issues. Luke Thomas, though, has recovered from a hamstring problem.

For manager Rodgers, this game represents a chance for Leicester to further their European history. What’s more, it could show them where their level is at after a season of ups and downs.

He explained: “We don’t have a rich history in Europe, so to be in the quarter-final is special.

“The fans will be behind us. We want to play with an intensity and a tempo, which the supporters can help us with.

“We’re somewhere close to returning to our top level, but we’re not there yet. We’re bringing back some key players which will help with that.

“‘I’m happy with the physicality, and the aggression in the team over the weekend. You need to play with that in 2022.”

Rodgers analyses PSV strengths

Brendan Rodgers after a Leicester City match

Opponents PSV are currently second in the Eredivisie table. Their squad features talent such as Cody Gakpo, Carlos Vinicius and Noni Madueke.

Rodgers is aware of the risks Leicester will face from the PSV forwards.

He said: “Clearly their top threats are up front. They’ve got a great striker and some fantastic wingers.

“They have scored lots of goals, but concede goals too. We need to exploit that in the first leg. They play with a clear identity. It should be a really good tie.”

Leicester are at home for the first leg before the trip to the Netherlands one week later.

READ MOREPundit gives out sound advice as Leicester City star looks to make England World Cup squad