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Saturday 17 March 2018

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri hopeful over Danny Drinkwater

Leicester's Daniel Drinkwater is set to be fit to face Chelsea
Leicester's Daniel Drinkwater is set to be fit to face Chelsea

Claudio Ranieri hopes to have midfielder Danny Drinkwater fit and available for Leicester's trip to Chelsea on Saturday.

Drinkwater was not available for selection for England's recent World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia as he had a groin injury.

The 26-year-old, who scored Leicester's goal at Stamford Bridge on the final day of last season as the champions concluded their campaign with a 1-1 draw, has used the international break to recover and has resumed training.

Foxes manager Ranieri will check on Drinkwater on Friday and hope he has suffered no reaction.

"It was a little problem with the groin but I hope tomorrow, I speak with the doctor, he will be okay," said the Italian.

"Today he made everything okay and he trained well and now I want to wait to see if it is okay tomorrow. If the response is okay, it's okay. If no then I say I be careful."

Nampalys Mendy has been absent since limping off during the goalless home draw with Arsenal on August 20 but it seems his ankle injury is likely to keep him on the sidelines for another week.

Ranieri said: "He came back and then after half an hour he left the game. He has a little problem with his ankle. He is fit but just a little twist again and the pain is very strong. I say yes he may be fit next week but we will see."

Leicester had 12 players away on international duty but Ranieri is relieved to see them all return back to the King Power Stadium unscathed, including Japan forward Shinji Okazaki.

"Yes he is back, they are all back fortunately - the last this morning. It's okay," said Ranieri. "But all the clubs have the same problem and now we have to see who has recovered well and then I choose.

"With the Champions League against Copenhagen on Tuesday I must see who players and decide."

Press Association

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