Belfast Telegraph

Shakespeare: Leicester squad is strong enough to cope with Iborra absence

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare has been forced into a rethink ahead of the opening game of the season at Arsenal following Vicente Iborra's groin injury.

The Spaniard, a £12.75million arrival from Sevilla this summer, has been sent for a scan after suffering the setback in training this week and will miss out on Friday night.

Iborra's absence, expected to be between one and two weeks, has forced Shakespeare into a change of plans but he feels he has enough strength in depth to deal with it, despite Danny Drinkwater also being out.

"Vicente Iborra picked up a groin strain the other day in training, so he will miss Friday's game," said Shakespeare. "We are just waiting on the scan results but I expect that type of injury to be seven to 14 days.

"I saw Vicente's face this morning and we had a little chat. Obviously he's gutted but I think he's experienced enough to know he'll quickly get over it.

"It has changed my plans a little for Friday because I am without a very experienced midfield player but we have enough depth to get over it.

"Danny Drinkwater has a thigh injury, which should hopefully only be another week."

However, some good news for Shakespeare has seen Kelechi Iheanacho recover from the toe injury he suffered against Borussia Monchengladbach last week.

The striker is available to make his Leicester debut at the Emirates Stadium along with centre-half Harry Maguire, with Robert Huth recovering from ankle surgery.

Huth, though, is ahead of schedule while Nampalys Mendy and Islam Slimani are also back in training in readiness for the new Premier League campaign.

"On a positive note, Kelechi trained fully after his little knock a nd Robert Huth is back in full training, which is a real plus for us because we thought Robert would be out more time," said Shakespeare.

"However, he's joined in and he will get some game-time with the Under-23s on Monday, which is well ahead of schedule. He's raring to go.

"Papy Mendy is back training and so is Islam. Islam had a gash in an awkward place behind his knee and I think he had seven stitches. It was a nasty injury and he is slowly getting back as it's a case of working on his mobility. But he will be involved at Arsenal.

"We get one or two back, we lose one or two - that's the way the world is at the moment in terms of the injuries."

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