James Maddison could make his return from injury against Manchester City on Saturday in the Premier League, his manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed, as the hosts look to strengthen their top four credentials.
The England international has been sidelined since mid-February with a hip problem, ultimately ruling him out of last month’s international break in a potential blow to his hopes of making Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad.
Foxes boss Rodgers says Maddison is almost ready to get back on the pitch, handing his side a major boost as they continue to contend with Manchester United, Chelsea and West Ham in a tight race for a Champions League berth.
What did Rodgers say?
“He’s back in training and he will be available for the weekend, so that’s great news for us,” the 48-year-old told his pre-match press conference. “Clearly, he’s not 100 per cent match fit but, in terms of his football fitness, he looks great.
“In the last few weeks, he’s been working with the team, with the players we have available, and he’s stepped that up. He’s not reporting any pain and he looks great. It’s really good news for us, his availability back into the squad again, and hopefully he can stay fit now until the end of the season.”
Rodgers also disclosed that Harvey Barnes, another Three Lions hopeful whose prospects look to have been scuppered by injury, is making solid progress but is still some way off a return to action.
“He’s still got a way to go,” Rodgers added. “We can’t rush it. Even then, when he does come back, it’s like all injured players, he’s not going to trot back into the level he was at.
“He’s making really good progress, working really hard, and I’m sure, at some point before the end of the season, he’ll play a part.”
The bigger picture
Leicester lie third in the Premier League, one point behind second-place United and five ahead of Chelsea in fourth.
With three wins and a draw in their last five games, the Foxes are in relatively fine form, as they look to claim a best Premier League finish since their 2016 title triumph.
To do so though, they must first face a City side who turned their season around from an underwhelming start to run away at the summit and emerge as genuine contenders for an unprecedented quadruple.