Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers: Vardy & Fofana Out For Rennes First Leg

James Maddison and James Justin could feature for Leicester City against Rennes in the UEFA Europa Conference League this week, but the Foxes will be without Jamie Vardy and Wesley Fofana, says Brendan Rodgers.
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- Leicester City host Rennes in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday
- The Foxes tackle the Ligue 1 outfit in the first leg of the last-16 in an 8pm kick-off
- James Justin and James Maddison are expected to be in contention for the tie
- Striker Jamie Vardy sustained a knee issue during Saturday's win over Leeds United
- Wesley Fofana won't be available for City after testing positive for COVID-19

City's return to European action sees them host the Ligue 1 side on Filbert Way for an 8pm kick-off, before heading to Brittany seven days later. A place in the quarter-finals awaits the winners.

After scoring and laying on an assist in a 2-0 Premier League win at Burnley earlier this month, Vardy sustained a knee issue during the 1-0 success over Leeds United on Filbert Way last Saturday. Rodgers confirmed that the Club's No.9 is likely to be out for a short period of time in recovery.

"Vards will be out," the 49-year-old said. "He unfortunately got injured in the last game so is going to be out for a few weeks, which is a shame. He just got a knock towards his knee, but hopefully in the next three to four weeks, he responds okay.

"He felt a soreness on it after the game the other day. It’s very frustrating for both [the Club and the player]. For him in particular, having been out, working so hard to get back, you can see the difference he makes to the team.

It’s just been our season, right the way through, with injuries. It’s unfortunate circumstances. [Fofana's] not going to be able to feature tomorrow, but we’re hoping for the weekend now.

Brendan Rodgers

"Of course, for us as coaches and managers and players, it’s frustrating because you miss that level of player. Hopefully he can get back, get fit again, and we’ll see how he is in a few weeks."

Fofana, on the other hand, will not be able to make his return from a fractured fibula injury, sustained last August, after testing positive for COVID-19 this week. Rodgers is hopeful that the Frenchman could be available for selection in Sunday's Premier League visit to Arsenal (4:30pm kick-off).

"He’s picked up COVID," the Northern Irishman told the media inside the King Power Centre at LCFC Training Ground. "It’s just been our season, right the way through, with injuries. It’s unfortunate circumstances. He’s not going to be able to feature tomorrow, but we’re hoping for the weekend now.

We have to deal with the setbacks and hopefully Wesley will be okay for the weekend, with a bit of luck, and we'll keep monitoring Vards. We've got other guys who will step in and give their very best.

Brendan Rodgers

"With Vards out, we've still got Kels (Kelechi Iheanacho) and Patson [Daka] who can play in that position. It's really unfortunate for the two guys, Wesley has been building up for this moment. We had the same with JJ (James Justin).

"We have to deal with the setbacks and hopefully Wesley will be okay for the weekend, with a bit of luck, and we'll keep monitoring Vards. We've got other guys who will step in and give their very best."

There was better news elsewhere, however, with the Foxes manager revealing that Maddison (lower back/hamstring) and Justin (strain) could be available for City this Thursday. Ricardo Pereira (hamstring) is in contention to feature at Emirates Stadium over the weekend.

"James Justin will be back," Rodgers added. "James Maddison will be back. Ricardo is probably not quite ready for tomorrow but we’ll see for the weekend. Apart from that, everyone else has come through the last game."

Tickets for the first leg round of 16 knockout clash with Rennes are now on general sale. To buy, click HERE.

All times GMT.

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