Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has warned that the packed Christmas schedule could end players’ careers after losing Jamie Vardy to a hamstring injury.
The Foxes striker was brought back into the team for the win against Liverpool, only to suffer a hamstring injury which is expected to keep him out for three or four weeks.
Vardy’s absence further deepens an injury crisis which has already claimed fellow striker Patson Daka and right-back Ricardo Pereira, and comes after he played on at the end of the midweek match with the team having already used their three substitutes.
Leicester have already seen their upcoming match against Norwich City postponed, and Rodgers has made his feelings clear when it comes to the impact of a busy December on player health.
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Rodgers argued increasing the number of substitutes would “one hundred percent” help the situation after losing Vardy in a month when Kelechi Iheanacho will be absent at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“The warrior he is and with that spirit he didn’t want to come out of the team,” Rodgers said of the veteran.
“He was still running and moving, it was a higher strain of hamstring so it allowed him to continue.
“There’s no doubt if we could have made another sub, that would have certainly helped protect him for sure.”
A number of Premier League clubs have already seen games postponed over the festive period, with Covid outbreaks and injuries seeing squads stretched.
Tired squads and overworked players have picked up further injuries, with Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp among the managers to question the wisdom of playing two games in three days.
Rodgers has gone even further, though, warning that the situation runs the risk of leading to potentially career-ending injuries.
“It’s no good if you’re really fatigued because you played two days earlier in a huge game,” the Leicester boss said.
“If you end up with an ACL injury or broken leg because you’re making a tired tackle, or some guy tackles you with a clumsy tackle, that’s when it’s an issue. That can affect a player’s livelihood.
“He may never play again or it might push him back in his career, and fatigue will play a huge part in that.”
Leicester City via Getty Images)
With their game against Norwich postponed, Leicester will have up to three games in hand on their Premier League rivals after this weekend’s fixtures.