Wilfred Ndidi has returned to full training following an abductor injury, in a boost for Leicester City and manager Brendan Rodgers.
Before his injury, the midfielder had been drafted into central defence so far in the 2020-21 campaign following the unavailability of Wes Morgan, Jonny Evans and Filip Benkovic.
However, he has resumed training and it means he could feature in Leicester’s Premier League match this weekend, away to Jurgen Klopp’s men on Sunday, although Rodgers may want to protect the 23-year-old to build his fitness.
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In the absence of Ndidi, Nampalys Mendy has fitted in perfectly into the Foxes squad and that drew commendation from Rodgers.
“He is performing to the level the club wanted when they brought him in,” the Northern Irish tactician told the club website.
“He’s a defensive midfield player, tactically very good, understands the role, and does a lot of dirty work for the team.
“Of course, before he’s played with Wilf [Ndidi], who’s something similar beside him and it’s probably where both of those players need someone creative beside them.
“I think because of Wilf’s form, certainly since I’ve been here, he’s been so consistent, Wilf, and it’s been difficult for Papy to play but it really shows you the mark of the guy – how well he has trained, how concentrated he has been. He never lost his focus and was always there if an opportunity came to give his very best.
“Now, what you’re seeing is a player that is getting a consistent run of games, and he’s really showing the quality player he is. I have been delighted with Papy. He gives the team stability with his experience and understanding of football and how we work. He has been crucial to how we play.”
The Foxes, who have won their last six games across all competitions have a packed schedule of English top-flight games as well as the Europa League to deal with, and will need key first-team members such as Ndidi fit and available for big fixtures coming in quick succession.
After eight English top-flight games, the King Power Stadium giants lead the log having accrued 18 points, while Klopp’s men are ranked third with one point less.