Pearson Boosted By Fitness News
Two players absent for their nations over the international break were skipper and Jamaica international Wes Morgan and England Under-21s defender Liam Moore, and the manager moved to allay any concerns over their fitness.
“Wes Morgan didn’t make his international commitments this time around,” said Pearson. “He’s had an on-going problem, so to speak, with a bit of an overused foot problem, which we’ve been able to settle down.
“Sometimes you have to manage that type of injury in a different way. It doesn’t stop players from playing games but given that he’s an important player for us, and the number of games he’s played, it was getting to a point where we didn’t want to be injecting it to get him through games. He’s returned to training this week.
“Liam Moore was ill, basically. He had an infection that, without going into detail, meant he needed medication. He’s much better now. He’s trained intermittently throughout this break. He was suffering a little bit before the game against Southampton as well.
“I actually saw Gareth Southgate at St. George’s Park during the international break and discussed Liam and the fact that he was missing for their games. The feedback I got was that they were very pleased with him and also very pleased with his progress, especially for players who have played so much football. A break like this won’t have done him any harm at all, so he’s available. There’s no problem with him.”
On the subject of internationals, Pearson added: “We’re still waiting for some players to come back from international duty. We’ll have to see how they are either today or tomorrow when they return.
“That’s the likes of Jeffrey Schlupp, Riyad Mahrez and Kasper Schmeichel. We’re still awaiting their return but hopefully we’ll have a fit squad to choose from again.”
The manager also confirmed that defender Ritchie De Laet will once again be fit after picking up a back injury against Southampton, while goalkeeper Ben Hamer is also available following a recovery from a dislocated finger.
Matthew Upson, who signed in the summer but has been nursing a foot injury, is back in training and is nearing a debut, but Pearson revealed that midfielder Dean Hammond will miss out at the weekend due to a calf injury.
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