Leicester won't take chances on Jamie Vardy return
Published 08/01/2016 | 16:51
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy will not be rushed back after undergoing a minor groin operation.
Vardy, the joint-leading scorer in the Barclays Premier League, required surgery to repair a long-standing problem and went under the knife this week.
The procedure was a success and the 28-year-old is expected to need around 10 days to recover, meaning he could be back in contention for the league game against Tottenham on Wednesday.
However, Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri may not risk him at White Hart Lane next week, a fixture which comes three days after the two sides meet at the same venue in the FA Cup third round, despite the match being crucial to the Foxes' title bid.
"He's okay," said Ranieri.
"Today (Thursday) Jamie is working with the physio and he should be okay for the league game (against Tottenham).
"I say to my physio I do not want to lose him for a long time. If he is ready for the second Tottenham game, it's okay. If not - Aston Villa."
Leicester have been this season's surprise package but Tottenham, their FA Cup opponents on Sunday, have impressed Ranieri, who used the north London club as an example of how he wants the Foxes to progress.
"They have a lot of young players. Why? Because they started earlier than us," said the Italian, who could hand a debut to 19-year-old winger Demarai Gray following his arrival from Birmingham this week.
"(Spurs manager Mauricio) Pochettino is doing a good job. Their squad is fantastic. When we drew with Tottenham at home earlier (this season) I felt they were something special.
"It is difficult to play Tottenham because they have fantastic players. They have a first team and second team the same.
"They have a good mix of young and old. We want to follow their example.
"When I signed, (club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha) told me wants to build good, young players and a team that can compete with the big teams, to get into Europe in two or three years, after that the Champions League.
"I said we'll work hard to achieve it. We want to improve. It is my first six months that I am working with these players. We have to improve a lot. We already improve, but we need more, I believe.``
As he did in the League Cup this season, Ranieri will also make wholesale changes to his team in the FA Cup.
He said: "We will change a lot, because these players deserve a chance to play. It will be a blend of players. Our mentality won't change. We go to win. If Tottenham are better, well done to them."