Leicester's Rodgers says no timeline on injured Maddison's return

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Aston Villa v Leicester City - Villa Park, Birmingham, Britain - February 21, 2021 Leicester City's James Maddison celebrates scoring their first goal Pool via REUTERS/Tim Keeton

(Reuters) - Leicester City will not rush playmaker James Maddison back into action from a niggling hip injury that has kept him out of their last three games in all competitions, manager Brendan Rodgers said on Thursday.

Maddison, who has scored 11 goals and provided 10 assists in all competitions this season, missed Leicester's last six games of the 2019-20 campaign with a similar injury that needed surgery.

The 24-year-old England international was substituted as a precaution in last month's 2-1 Premier League win at Aston Villa after a recurrence of the problem.

"He's still continuing with the medical team. With James, there's no timeline, we're hoping that gradually he will feel better," Rodgers told reporters before Saturday's trip to 16th-placed Brighton & Hove Albion.

"He's had the reassurance of a few scans. It's just irritable. We're hopeful over these next few weeks that will get better."

Leicester, who are third in the league with 50 points from 27 games, have several senior players including Wesley Fofana, Ayoze Perez, Jonny Evans and Dennis Praet out injured.

Rodgers said a deep squad of fit players is always a massive advantage in the push for a top-four finish.

"But it's not to say you can't do it. Eleven games is a lot to play and you can only focus on the next one," Rodgers added. "It's not about being in the top four and top six now, it's about where you are after the 38th game.

"You're always looking to galvanise your squad. Fortunately we have a tremendous spirit here... The players work very hard. Whenever anyone talks about the injuries, we tend not to.

"The game might look different because of the quality of players who are out, but we still want to win games."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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