Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers Delivers Pre-Chelsea Fitness Update

Brendan Rodgers has provided an update on the fitness of several of his squad ahead of Leicester City’s Premier League meeting with Chelsea this wekekend.
More on this story...

- Leicester City tackle Chelsea at King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday
- Brendan Rodgers spoke to the media ahead of the fixture about the current fitness of his squad
- Youri Tielemans is out of contention and the game will also come too soon for James Justin
- Marc Albrighton has returned to training, while Wesley Fofana continues his recovery from injury, Rodgers revealed

The Foxes meet Thomas Tuchel’s side in a 12:30pm kick-off on Saturday, their first fixture after the latest international break, which has afforded an opportunity for some of the squad to regroup and refresh.

Speaking in Thursday’s pre-match press conference inside the King Power Centre in Seagrave, Rodgers commented on the fitness of Youri Tielemans, who picked up a calf injury during the 1-1 draw with Leeds United - Leicester’s last competitive outing.

The Belgium midfielder did not meet up with his international team-mates for their final FIFA World Cup qualifiers and is not in contention to face the Blues on Filbert Way.

“I think that most of the guys have come back all okay," City’s manager revealed to the media. “We obviously had the issue with Youri [Tielemans] before he left, so that puts him out for a few weeks.

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans was withdrawn during Leicester's clash with Leeds at Elland Road.

“But apart from that, the players have trained well, worked well since they come back and we’re fit and healthy otherwise. He’ll be back before Christmas.”

Marc Albrighton has not featured since picking up an injury in the Foxes’ UEFA Europa League victory over Spartak Moscow on 20 October, but is now back on the grass at LCFC Training Ground.

Meanwhile, long-term absentee James Justin, who has been out since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in February, is stepping up his own recovery.

“Marc has been back training so that’s really good news," the Northern Irishman added. “JJ (James Justin) is looking really, really good in training but it’s probably just a little too early for him.

We just have to be careful with the injury he has had. The plan will be to get him into 45 minutes of an Under-23s game soon and just manage it from there, but he’s a natural athlete, but he also works tirelessly at his game.

Brendan Rodgers on James Justin

“We probably want to get him some minutes with the Under-23s team, so we’ve got a plan in place for that. But he’s looking so good in training and he’s obviously physically very strong, he’s a natural athlete.

“He’s worked ever so hard during his rehabilitation, so we are seeing the rewards of that. In training, he’s been absolutely first class but we’ve just got to make sure with him.

“There’s still a lot of the season to go and we just want to make sure he’s fit and that he’s ready before he goes into some game time.

“JJ looks like he’s never been away, but we just have to be careful with the injury he has had. The plan will be to get him into 45 minutes of an Under-23s game soon and just manage it from there, but he’s a natural athlete. He also works tirelessly at his game.”

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Marc Albrighton
Marc Albrighton

Marc Albrighton's last Leicester appearance came in the UEFA Europa League last month.

Wesley Fofana is also progressing well after undergoing surgery for a fractured fibula suffered in a pre-season friendly against Villarreal in August.

Rodgers explained: “I’m not sure of the exact date yet, but I was just watching him rehabbing on the field and he was moving really well with our medical and sports science team, so he’s building up his fitness. He’s building up his contact with the ball.

“It’s just that progression for him. It’s great news, he’s way ahead of where we thought he’d maybe be. He’s absolutely devoted everything into his rehabilitation and initially we were thinking the early part of January. It still might be that, he’s still got a way to go, but he’s still doing very well.

“Those two players (Wesley Fofana and James Justin) are going to be huge for us towards the end of this year and then in the second part of the season. If we get those two back into the squad, then that’s a massive bonus for us. Having those two boys back will be huge for us.”

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