Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers' Pre-West Ham Fitness Update

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has spoken about the availability of James Maddison and Çağlar Söyüncü ahead of facing West Ham United on Sunday.
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- Brendan Rodgers gives a squad fitness update prior to tackling West Ham United this Sunday 
- James Maddison has recovered from a hip injury but is yet to reach his peak fitness level
- Çağlar Söyüncü will miss the Hammers clash but could be back to face Southampton next week
- Turkey winger Cengiz Ünder remains out of contention, the Northern Irishman adds

Maddison came on as a 72nd-minute substitute in the 2-0 home defeat by Manchester City last Saturday, making his first Foxes appearance since 21 February.

Rodgers revealed on Friday afternoon that the 24-year-old midfielder continues to get up to speed after recovering from the hip injury that kept him out of the squad for over a month and was pleased to see the England international make his return.

"It was really good to get him back on the field again," the Northern Irishman commented from LCFC Training Ground in Seagrave, speaking during his virtual pre-match press conference.

To have a player like James [Maddison] available for the important games coming up between now and the end of the season is good news for us.

Brendan Rodgers

"He’s still a bit away from where his peak level will be but, yes, to have someone like James [Maddison] available for these important games coming up between now and the end of the season is good news for us."

Rodgers also provided an update on Çağlar Söyüncü, who missed last weekend's encounter with the Premier League leaders after testing positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with Turkey.

He remains unavailable for the trip to London Stadium on Sunday, City's manager told the media.

"We’re hoping that by Sunday when he’ll do his test that it will be a negative test and then we can get him back," the 48-year-old explained. "He’ll have done his period in isolation out there. 

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Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira

Ricardo Pereira also made his return from injury against Manchester City.

"That's the plan. He’s been out there, he's been able to train, he’s had no symptoms or anything, it's just been really unfortunate for him to have the virus.

"So we decided to keep him there where he can still train without having to do any isolation period when he comes back. And that should fit in well for him returning [to England], hopefully all being well, on Sunday and then he can rejoin the group next week and be ready for the Southampton game.

"The most important thing is having the availability and that we have all the players, obviously apart from Çağs [Çağlar Söyüncü] and Cengo [Cengiz Ünder], that will be available."

Rodgers also reflected on a period which has seen the likes of Ricardo Pereira return to action after a period on the sidelines, ahead of the final run-in. The Foxes have eight games remaining and are currently sitting third in the Premier League standings

"We’ve got players coming back and available and that’s all you want," he added. "It was flipping for us the other way at this point last season.

"We’ve got one or two out, but certainly for us it’s starting to lighten. And that’s all you want, to have them fit and available and then we’ve got players to choose from.

"Apart from the guys that are injured, the players that are fit are available. We obviously have another day or so to go but we will go into the game with a strong squad and look forward to that."

All times BST.

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