Leicester City travel to the London Stadium for their second Premier League game of the season tonight, and they’ll be hoping to make it back-to-back victories when they take on West Ham United.
The Foxes began their 2021/22 campaign with a satisfying 1-0 victory over Wolves last weekend, getting their hunt for a top-four finish off to a solid start.
Their victory over Bruno Lage’s men was made even more impressive by the fact that they were missing several key first team players for the match, and Rodgers has revealed that he’s set to be without summer signing Ryan Bertrand once again as the 32-year-old recovers from a viral infection.
“The squad will be about what we had last weekend,” the manager said in Friday’s press conference. “Ryan Bertrand won’t be available. It’s mostly the same, but Timothy Castagne will be available.”
Castagne’s return will be warmly received by the Leicester manager and fans alike, with fellow full-back James Justin also sidelined through a serious knee injury.
However, the Northern Irishman confirmed that compatriot Jonny Evans has not recovered in time from a foot complaint to make his first appearance of the season.
“(Evans) is out (on the grass) but he’s not training with the team. It’s just ongoing with Jonny and the injury. We said we would see where he’s at after the international break. He’s not near to playing as of yet,” Rodgers said.
More bad news has filtered through over the course of the weekend, as The Athletic‘s David Ornstein disclosed that Jannik Vestergaard will also miss tonight’s clash with West Ham due to injury.
The 6 ft 5 centre-back was brought into the club to provide cover for Wesley Fofana, who isn’t expected to feature for the remainder of the year, but then he picked up a problem himself in training, ruling him out of action.
Despite Castagne’s return offering a brief reprieve on the fitness front, Vestergaard’s absence on top of those of Evans and Bertrand will leave Rodgers feeling gutted as their defensive injury crisis continues to plague the club.
A string of absences contributed to the Midlands outfit missing out on a Champions League qualification spot in the last two consecutive seasons, and the former Celtic boss must already be worried that history could repeat itself once again this time around.