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Rodgers plays down Vardy injury fears

Vardy sustained a glute injury in City’s 4-1 thrashing of the Hammers.

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Leicester striker Jamie Vardy’s injury is not as bad as first feared (Mike Egerton/PA)

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy’s injury is not as bad as first feared (Mike Egerton/PA)

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy’s injury is not as bad as first feared (Mike Egerton/PA)

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has allayed fears over striker Jamie Vardy’s injury sustained in City’s 4-1 thumping of West Ham at the King Power Stadium.

Leading 1-0 on the back of Harvey Barnes’ 23rd-minute tap-in and after losing midfielder Nampalys Mendy to a knee injury just after the half-hour, Vardy’s hoofed clearance resulted in him pulling up and clutching the top of his left thigh.

Although the Foxes’ leading goalscorer attempted to carry on after treatment, the 33-year-old soon crumpled back to the ground and was replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho.

Vardy at least watched the second half from the bench, with Rodgers delivering a positive prognosis.

“It wasn’t his hamstring, so that’s good news for us,” said Rodgers.

“He just felt a twinge in his glute, so we will wait and see on that one in the next day or so, but thankfully his hamstring is fine, and we’ll assess things over the next couple of days.”

Despite the injury blows, Rodgers’ side returned to winning ways with an emphatic victory to maintain their stranglehold on third place in the Premier League, and with it keep one eye on a Champions League place for next season.

After losing Vardy, Ricardo doubled City’s lead on the stroke of half-time with a sumptuous strike and, although captain Mark Noble pulled one back from the penalty spot early in the second half, a brace from Ayoze Perez in the final 10 minutes wrapped up a deserved win to erase memories of recent back-to-back defeats to Southampton and Leicester.

The result also proved City can operate without Vardy.

Rodgers added: “He’s a fantastic player and very, very important for us, but you are never going to succeed or do well if you just rely totally on one player.

“Of course, when you have a player of his quality, he is always going to be a miss, so it’s particularly important to have players who can come into a game and you don’t change so much of your rhythm.

“Kelechi came in and he was very, very good. He wants to run in behind, he was powerful, his touch was good, he works ever so hard, and he always looks like he can create and score goals. I thought he came in and did very well.

“Overall, I thought the performance was very, very good. From the first whistle we played with a high tempo, the speed in our game was good, the creativity was good. We thoroughly deserved it, so really pleased.”

For David Moyes, there were no complaints as his team were distinctly second best throughout, with only goal difference separating the Hammers from a place in the bottom three.

Moyes said: “I’m extremely disappointed.

“The first half was really poor. I was hoping to have scraped through to half-time at 1-0 and then done something about it.

“We did improve, we rallied and the introduction of Michail Antonio (at the interval) helped us.

“But our problems were more to do with our defending in the second half as we started to be too open, we were chasing and being picked off easy. I would have preferred for us to have bided our time and pick them off.

“We also gave up opportunities tonight. In the main we’ve not been giving up too many opportunities.

“But we have to be honest, Leicester City were far better, played better and they deserved it, we didn’t, on that performance.”

PA