Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers Delivers Fitness Update On Castagne & Vardy

Brendan Rodgers says Timothy Castagne is recovering well after sustaining a knock in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Roma, while the Leicester City manager also provided an update on Jamie Vardy's phased return from injury.
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- Leicester City face Tottenham Hotspur away in the Premier League on Sunday (2pm kick-off)
- The Foxes were held to a 1-1 home draw by Roma in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday
- Manager Brendan Rodgers has provided an update on Timothy Castagne and Jamie Vardy
- City travel to Rome next week for the second leg of their semi-final tie in Europe

Castagne was substituted in the 21st minute of the UEFA Europa Conference League Semi-Final first leg tie with Roma at King Power Stadium. The Belgium international was involved in a clash early on during that last-four European tie but has since been assessed by the Club's medical team.

Elsewhere, Vardy started and played over an hour for the Foxes too, building on 20 minutes of action against Aston Villa last weekend. The 35-year-old had previously been absent since early March with a knee injury. City face Spurs in north London on Sunday (2pm kick-off).

"We just had Timothy Castagne come off in the game," Rodgers said on Friday. "He has had a scan and everything’s fine and all clear so that’s good. Apart from that, everyone’s fit and healthy. Jamie’s come through well. It’s good for him to get another 60 minutes.

"With all the games we’re having to play, it takes that little bit extra time to recover of course. We’ll see how he is. The guys are back in today and they work really well with the sports science team and we’ll assess it tomorrow and see where they’re all at.

"It’s not just about playing 90 mins. You have to perform. It’s about giving him that chance from a fitness perspective to be able to perform to the highest level that he can. He’s only been back training a few days.

[Vardy will] have to recover well now and we’ll decide if it’s too much of a risk to involve him at the weekend – to start, or bring him into the game, or keep him fresh for Thursday.

Brendan Rodgers

"I think he’s done absolutely amazing to get back and play the 20-25 minutes that he did against Villa and then it was a short turnaround to play last night. It’s just something that’s ongoing.

"He’ll have to recover well now and we’ll decide if it’s too much of a risk to involve him at the weekend – to start, or bring him into the game, or keep him fresh for Thursday. There’s so many aspects to it. It’s not just about being fit to play 90 minutes. You’ve got to be able to play and perform."

Although Wilfred Ndidi and Ryan Bertrand remain out with knee injuries, Leicester have an otherwise fully-fit squad at present. After a season blighted by fitness concerns, Rodgers believes his squad is gradually returning to the high levels they have shown over previous campaigns.

"It’s so important to be able to bring our intensity into the game," the Northern Irishman added. "We play a technical game and coaches and managers will tell you, to play a technical game, you have to be really fit and able to run. In order to do that, you need that freshness.

"If you have the squad that we’ve now started to get back for the first time of the season, then you start to see the levels that we can play to. I’m delighted for the players. Every player’s had the opportunity, virtually, over this last number of weeks to come in and perform.

"In the main, they’ve performed to a good level. It’s that part of the season, when you’re playing for the ability to reach a final. That always gives the players the motivation to keep going because they have something to aim for.

First Team

The Goals From City's 1-1 UECL Draw With Roma

After Lorenzo Pellegrini's opener for Roma, Leicester City forced an own goal from Gianluca Mancini in the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League last-four tie.

"We’re always looking to prove the point. Of course, you’re not training so much, certainly not [to the same] intensity. It’s a lot of playing and recovering. Thankfully we have a lot of our squad back. We’re only missing a few players from what would be the full squad.

"That allows us to refresh the team and give it that energy when I think it’s needed. To play in the Premier League and to challenge for any trophy, you need to have a squad and that’s what we’ve tried to do.

"We’ve still got a busy fixture list to go for the next month, but it’s exciting and the players would rather play than train I’m sure."

That schedule is showing no signs of letting up for City. After Sunday's visit to the capital, they fly out to Rome in the week for the second leg against José Mourinho's outfit. During May, the Foxes will contest at least seven fixtures across both the Premier League and the Europa Conference League.

"It was a really good performance from us last night," the Leicester manager continued. "You obviously have to re-energise and recover as best you can. Our schedule over the last number of weeks has, of course, been very challenging, but it’s what you want.

"We’ll continue to play midweek right to the very end of the season. We’ll freshen it up in the team as well, but we always put out a team to get a result."

All times BST.

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