Friday 23 February 2018

Claudio Ranieri: Jamie Vardy's wrist injury is no problem for club or country

Leicester's Jamie Vardy, battling with Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny, has to wear a cast to protect his wrist
Leicester's Jamie Vardy, battling with Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny, has to wear a cast to protect his wrist

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has dismissed any fitness fears over Jamie Vardy linking up with England.

The Barclays Premier League's six-goal top scorer has two broken bones in his wrist and has been wearing a cast while playing for the Foxes.

He has been called up for England's final two Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania next week.

Vardy suffered the injury after a fall in September's 3-2 win over Aston Villa but, ahead of Saturday's trip to Norwich, Ranieri eased worries over the 28-year-old.

He said: "He has two broken bones but the medical staff have done very well to treat it. He wants to play and doesn't want to stop because of injury. We agree as long as he is safe, and if the referee says it is okay, then for us it is okay.

"He broke it when he fell to the ground (against Villa). A lot of players want to play on when they feel good. It is not a big problem for the outfield players but for the keepers it would not be possible.

"He is in great condition and deserves to go there (with England). He deserves to be in the squad but it is up to Roy (Hodgson) to choose the players.

"He is very good, he is a hard worker. He presses everyone, works the channels and the space, and he is also very calm in his decision making. He has improved a lot and I am very happy with him."

Nathan Dyer has also returned to training for the Foxes after a knee injury but will not be available for the trip to Carrow Road.

He missed Saturday's 5-2 defeat to Arsenal, Leicester's first defeat of the campaign.

Ranieri added: "Now I want to see a reaction against a very good team. It's Norwich's first season (back) in the Premier League again and their spirit will be high."

Vardy is expected to start in Norfolk following his two goals against Arsenal last weekend before joining the Three Lions.

He has won two caps and started last month's 6-0 win in San Marino and Ranieri believes Hodgson needs the former Fleetwood forward in his squad as they prepare for Euro 2016.

"I think strikers like him, there isn't too many. Maybe Roy needs one striker like him," he said.

"It is about his character. He wants to arrive at a high level.

"It is amazing. This is a fantastic sport for the other players and he wants to show 'yes, he can too'.

"In the end it is important what you have inside - the strength and the character - because every day is a battle.

"Your opponent wants to 'kill' you and you want to 'kill' your opponent.

"You can play well and sometimes you play badly but your reaction is what is important."

Press Association

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