Rodgers hopeful over swift Ndidi return

Leicester City
Wilfred Ndidi says Leicester's performance in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Chelsea shows they are ready to "contend" this season.

Brendan Rodgers is hopeful that Wilfred Ndidi will make a swift return from his latest injury setback.

Nigeria international Ndidi made a remarkable recovery from a knee problem last month, as he returned to the Leicester squad just 12 days after undergoing surgery to remove a piece of floating bone from the meniscus.

The 23-year-old returned to action by coming on as a first-half substitute during the Foxes’ 4-1 victory over West Ham in the Premier League on January 22 before playing the full 90 minutes during the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final tie with Aston Villa six days later.

However, the former Genk star was a late withdrawal from the Leicester squad for Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea at the King Power Stadium after feeling discomfort in his knee once again, with Rodgers confirming he did not want to take any unnecessary risks with the combative midfielder.

“We just thought it was too big a risk really,” Rodgers told the Leicester website. “He was down to play, even right up until the team-sheet going in, well before the game, but gradually he felt the pain.”

Leicester are now beginning their winter break and will therefore not be back in action until February 14 when they travel to Molineux to take on Wolves in the league.

Rodgers is hopeful that Ndidi will have recovered in time to play at least some part in that match.

“We took it out of his hands, let him rest,” the Northern Irishman added. “He’s got a period of rest now, which will help his knee.”

Ndidi has been one of the star performers for Leicester so far this season, featuring in 21 of their 25 Premier League games and scoring important goals against Newcastle and Chelsea.

The midfielder has featured 106 times since joining the Foxes for a reported £17million in January 2017.