Brendan Rodgers urges Wesley Fofana caution despite goalscoring Leicester return

Fofana scored the goal that sent the Foxes through to the Europa Conference League quarter-finals.

Wesley Fofana celebrates after scoring during Leicester’s Europa League last-16 second leg at Rennes (Jeremias Gonzalez/AP).

By PA Sport Staff

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has stressed the need for care to be taken with Wesley Fofana after the defender’s memorable return to action on Thursday.

Fofana marked what was his first appearance since breaking his leg in pre-season by scoring the goal that sent the Foxes through to the Europa Conference League quarter-finals.

While Leicester were beaten in the last-16 second leg in Rennes, the 21-year-old’s header early in the second half of the 2-1 defeat saw them advance 3-2 on aggregate.

They will now face PSV Eindhoven, with the winner to face Roma or Bodo/Glimt in the semis.

Speaking to Premier League Productions ahead of Sunday’s home clash with Brentford, Rodgers said of Fofana: “Being out for such a long time, with a player of that quality and that mentality – he’s an elite young player who is going to develop into a top-class player – it’s always tempting to want to put him in, but we just have to be careful with him.

“He’s a fantastic talent, but with the injury he has had, and especially with the recovery time being not so long in between…we’ll just gauge it over the next day or so.

“It’s just great to have him back on the field. You see his impact, his mentality, that competitive edge.

“You can always draw a line for me with the top players between their talent and how competitive they are, and I see that every day when he trains, and then he takes that onto the pitch. You see his determination to get up and head it and score.

“So, delighted to have him back, but we just have to assess him on a daily basis now.”

Marc Albrighton (groin) and Wilfred Ndidi (knee) are also being assessed after being forced off by injury during Thursday’s contest, with Rodgers saying the latter “may have picked up an injury that might keep him out for a few weeks.”

Caglar Soyuncu and Patson Daka did not travel to France due to feeling unwell – Soyuncu is expected to be fit to return on Sunday, but Daka looks set to be unavailable.

Rodgers has also said that Jonny Evans is “close to being a part of the squad” and that Timothy Castagne is nearing involvement as well, after hamstring and thigh injuries respectively.

Meanwhile, Jamie Vardy continues his recovery from a knee issue, and Rodgers said: “Hopefully Jamie should be back training with us within the next week or so, so that’s great news.

“He may not be too far away after the international break.”


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