Brendan Rodgers taking care not to rush Jonny Evans return after injury issues

The experienced defender has been struggling with a foot problem since last season.
Jonny Evans has been battling a foot problem this year (Nick Potts/PA)

Jonny Evans has been battling a foot problem this year (Nick Potts/PA)

By Nick Mashiter, PA

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers admits Jonny Evans must be handled with care after his injury troubles.

The Northern Ireland international has been battling a foot problem for most of the year.

He played all of the 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Millwall on Wednesday having managed just 74 minutes in total previously this term.

Evans could now make his first Premier League start since April against Burnley on Saturday but Rodgers knows he cannot be rushed.

He said: “It’s about managing Jonny. It’s his first 90 minutes since earlier in the year. It’s managing that process and seeing how the foot reacts.

“It’s a long season. I’m delighted he’s got the game time and in and, absolutely, when he is playing we are a better team.

“He gives great authority and assurance to the backline and the team overall because of his tactical ability and the way he plays the game.

“We’ll see if he can start and, if not, he will certainly be on the bench. We know we have other really important games ahead.”

Along with Evans, Ayoze Perez is available after serving a three-game ban after being sent off in the 4-1 defeat at West Ham last month. James Justin (knee) and Wesley Fofana (broken leg) remain out for the Foxes.

Leicester lost 2-1 at Brighton on Sunday as they look for consistency in the Premier League, having also blown a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Napoli in the Europa League last week.

Rodgers added: “We are very focused on improving. I never get too high when we win or too low when we lose. We have a brilliant bunch of players and I know we want better results but it’s over the course of 38 games.

“In the second half against Brighton and against Millwall it was a lot more like us in terms of our spirit, some of our football and intensity. That’s the challenge, we have to repeat that and make that consistent.

“The players are human, they will make mistakes, I will make mistakes and we’ll do everything we can do to be better in our next game.”

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