Rodgers: Fofana Could Play A Part In Rennes
- Leicester City face Rennes in the UEFA Europa Conference League Round of 16 second leg on Thursday
- The Foxes take a two-goal aggregate lead to France after the first leg last week
- Wesley Fofana will be among the players to travel to Brittany, Brendan Rodgers says
- Danny Ward is set for a period out after undergoing an operation on his knee
Fofana, who has been absent since August with a fractured fibula injury, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. The young French centre-back, however, has recently signed a new five-and-a-half year contract with the Club and is close to making his long-awaited return.
City head to Brittany holding a 2-0 advantage on aggregate after the first leg of their last-16 clash and, speaking from LCFC Training Ground in Seagrave on Wednesday morning, Rodgers delivered some positive squad news.
"It will be the players who were available at the weekend," the Northern Irishman said, when asked to provide an update on the condition of his players. "Wesley Fofana will come into the squad, which is great news, so we'll have a look at him and see if he can get some minutes in the game.
That experience and that little bit of frustration of not playing will give him even more determination. It's now just about making those steps back. We'll be careful with him and I've no doubt he'll get back to being even better than he was before.Brendan Rodgers on Wesley Fofana
"The guys who are coming back, you have to put them into really competitive games, as there's not so many Under-23s games. Hopefully Wesley will play some part and some of the other guys will come back in too."
The Foxes manager says Fofana's return will be carefully overseen by the Club's medical and sports science teams so that the former Saint-Étienne defender can eventually reach his level.
"He's had a serious injury and we're trying to manage his expectations," Rodgers added. "He's not going to be at the level he was before for a period of time. I've been so impressed with his attitude. I've seen his intensity, his drive and determination. We have to try and manage that when he is back.
Albrighton & Iheanacho Open Up UECL Lead
A stunner from Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho's late strike give Leicester City a 2-0 advantage over Rennes the UEFA Europa Conference League.
"Between now and the end of the season, it's about building him back up. He'll have a big contribution to make but we have to tread carefully. I think he'll be better for it. The negative was the injury, but he gained on his physicality. He looks stronger, he's filled out, he's done a lot of work off the field.
"That experience and that little bit of frustration of not playing will give him even more determination. It's now just about making those steps back. We'll be careful with him and I've no doubt he'll get back to being even better than he was before."
Elsewhere, goalkeeper Danny Ward has undergone an operation on his knee and will be unavailable for City for a 'number of weeks'.
"He just had an operation on his knee," the manager confirmed. "It was just to clean up his meniscus so he's out for a number of weeks. It's something he's tried to play through. He virtually trains every day, pushing Kasper [Schmeichel]. He's been a very loyal, supportive no.2.
"It's very unfortunate for us and Wales that he couldn't carry on. It was a clean-up operation for him and that's why he hasn't been involved. It'll probably be towards the end of the season."
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