Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers Provides Pre-Stoke Squad Fitness Update

Manager Brendan Rodgers has given an assessment on the fitness of several Leicester City players, ahead of Saturday's trip to face Stoke City (3pm GMT kick-off).
More on this story...

- Brendan Rodgers provides an update on the fitness of his squad ahead of Saturday's Emirates FA Cup encounter with Stoke City
- Ricardo Pereira is not ready to return, while James Maddison and Jamie Vardy are expected to miss out
- The fitness of Çağlar Söyüncü and Cengiz Ünder was also discussed in Rodgers’ pre-match press conference
- Turkey centre-back Söyüncü played a part in the 2-1 win over Newcastle United last weekend

Speaking for the first time from the King Power Centre at the Club's new training ground in Seagrave, the Northern Irishman revealed that Saturday's encounter is likely to come too soon for full-back Ricardo Pereira.

The Portugal international is progressing well, however, as he works his way back to fitness having picked up a groin injury during the UEFA Europa League fixture with Zorya Luhansk in early December.

There is good news on another defender, meanwhile, with Çağlar Söyüncü coming through his substitute appearance against Newcastle United unscathed, while his international teammate Cengiz Ünder will need to be assessed, due to an ankle injury.

"Ricardo is coming on really well, he's rejoined the training group," Rodgers told the media in his pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon.

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Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira

Ricardo Pereira is in training this week as he continues to recover from a groin injury.

"It's probably just too soon for him this weekend, but great news that he's back in with the squad training, so he shouldn't be too far away.

"[Çağlar] Söyüncü, as you've seen, is back now and up to speed, he's contributed when he came in last weekend so he's now available and ready to play which is great.

"He's (Cengiz Ünder) picked up a little ankle injury, so we'll see how it is at the weekend."

James Maddison and Jamie Vardy, who starred in City's 2-1 Premier League victory over Newcastle last Sunday, are also expected to miss out on the Foxes' Emirates FA Cup third round tie at bet365 Stadium, giving both players time to fully recover from previous injuries.

Rodgers continued: "We've got a young squad anyway and we've got young players involved so it will be primarily what we have in our squad that we have available for the game.

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Jamie Vardy & James Maddison
Jamie Vardy & James Maddison

City are likely to travel to Stoke without both Jamie Vardy and James Maddison, who have not trained this week.

"Our two question marks will be with Jamie Vardy and James Maddison. Both of those players have done really well to get through these last number of games because they've been carrying some injuries.

"This may be an opportunity for us to let them recover and then be ready after the weekend, as both players haven't trained this week.

"It's primarily that they've got issues, Jamie obviously around his hip and groin area and James with his knee, so because of the games and the closeness of the games, they haven't been able to have the recovery period and rest period.

"This would allow it to settle right down, so we're having to look at where we can do that, for the benefit of the short and the longer term.

"So this is probably going to be the weekend where they miss out which will get them ready again for the games after that."

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