Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers Provides Pre-Braga Fitness Update

Brendan Rodgers provided more positive news concerning the fitness of Leicester City's injured players, ahead of facing SC Braga on Thursday.
More on this story...

- Leicester City travel to SC Braga in a UEFA Europa League Group G fixture on Thursday (5:55pm kick-off)
- Ricardo Pereira stepped up his recovery by playing just under an hour for the Development Squad on Monday
- The Portuguese full-back has not featured for the first team since an ACL injury in March
- Rodgers says Timothy Castagne (hamstring), Wilfred Ndidi (adductor) and Çağlar Söyüncü (adductor) are progressing well, but not yet ready to return

Leicester City head into the UEFA Europa League group stage fixture sitting top of Group G, three points in front of tomorrow's opponents, who they meet at Estádio Municipal de Braga in a 5:55pm kick-off.

Speaking to the national and international media prior to the clash in Portugal, Rodgers revealed that he is pleased with the progress of Foxes full-back Ricardo.

The Portuguese international, who has been absent from first team duties since March, continued his recovery from an ACL injury by playing 59 minutes for Leicester City's Development Squad earlier this week.

"Hopefully [he'll be back] very soon," Rodgers said in his pre-match press conference. "He played his first competitive football for the second team on Monday, which was really, really good.

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Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira

Ricardo featured for the first time since March in Monday's Development Squad fixture at home to West Ham United Under-23s.

"So over these next two to three weeks he can build up his match fitness and then hopefully very soon play in the first team.

"But we're so happy that he's come back very strong, it will be great to have him coming back into the team and we're very excited for that.

"The intensity of the Premier League is at a very high level, so we just have to ensure that his football fitness is going to be enough to allow him to play the games."

Long-term absentees Timothy Castagne (hamstring), Wilfred Ndidi (adductor) and Çağlar Söyüncü (adductor), meanwhile, remain on the sidelines and have not travelled to Portugal.

However, the trio will continue to be assessed this week and could come into contention soon, Rodgers confirmed.

So they are progressing really well, but none of them are here to play. With the players we've got coming back, the squad is competitive and that's what you need.

Brendan Rodgers

"Timothy [Castagne] hasn't travelled so we're just monitoring him over the course of this week and we'll see where he's at for the game next Monday (versus Fulham)," the Northern Irishman added.

"Wilf (Wilfred Ndidi) is progressing really, really well so we'll see the possibility of him when we play in the Ukraine, so that'll be great news.

"And then Çağs (Çağlar Söyüncü) as well, a little bit further down the line with him, but we'll see where he's at in the next few weeks.

"So they are progressing really well, but none of them are here to play. With the players we've got coming back, the squad is competitive and that's what you need."

All times GMT.

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