Football

Wilfred Ndidi suffers hamstring injury

Wilfred Ndidi can’t hide his disappointment after Leicester City missed out on a spot in the Champions League following Sunday’s disappointing 4-2 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Wilfred Ndidi is a “big doubt” for Leicester City’s trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday after tweaking his hamstring.

The defensive midfielder has been left out of the Nigeria squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifying doubleheader against the Central African Republic because of the injury, and Brendan Rodgers admitted it could see him miss out on the fixture at Selhurst Park.

Ndidi did not travel to Legia Warsaw with the rest of his teammates as he was suspended for the game, which was the first City match he had missed since February, starting in a run of 30 fixtures before then.

“Obviously he couldn’t play tonight but he had a bit of an issue at the beginning of the Burnley game so he’s a big doubt for the weekend,” Rodgers confirmed. “He’s felt a little bit in his hamstring.”

City played without a defensive midfielder on Thursday night, instead opting for a back three, and with Youri Tielemans ahead of them as the pivot in the centre of the park.

If Rodgers reverts to a back four, Boubakary Soumare could take on the Ndidi role, as the manager hinted ahead of the game in Warsaw.

“It’s impossible to find what we have,” Rodgers said of Ndidi’s absence before the clash with Legia.

“We’ve got good players, but specifically the job he does in breaking up play and just his overall defending and in the box, he’s irreplaceable for us.

“We have a number of other good players, we just need to find a different way. That’s also part of the point, as I said earlier in the season, for bringing Soumare into the squad, because he gives us that physicality. But Wilf’s a really unique and fabulous player.”

City also have Jonny Evans as a doubt for the weekend with the centre-back kept out of the midweek game with an illness. Wesley Fofana and James Justin also remain out with long-term injuries.

However, Kelechi Iheanacho is back in contention after he missed out in midweek following an issue with his documents at the Polish border.

Rodgers said on his striker: “He flew back. He’ll be fresh and ready for the weekend.”

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