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Vardy fitness boost for Leicester ahead of cup semi-final return leg

Brendan Rodgers says Vardy will have ‘a part to play’ at Villa Park.

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Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy receives treatment before being substituted with an injury during the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester.

Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy receives treatment before being substituted with an injury during the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester.

Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy receives treatment before being substituted with an injury during the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester.

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy is set to return from a hamstring injury for his side’s Carabao Cup semi-final, second leg at Aston Villa on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old missed his side’s FA Cup win at Brentford having limped off with a possible hamstring problem during the previous game against West Ham.

However, Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed the veteran “will have a part to play” at Villa Park.

We'll give it another full day, so we can see how he is tomorrow and decide if he starts or comes off the bench. But he will have a part to playBrendan Rodgers on Jamie Vardy

“He’ll be in the squad,” he said. “He’s worked very hard since picking up the injury in midweek and we’ll give it another full day, so we can see how he is tomorrow and decide if he starts or comes off the bench.

“But he will have a part to play.”

Asked whether Vardy could manage 90 minutes, Rodgers said: “Will he be 100%? He might only be at 80% fitness but I’d rather have an 80% Jamie Vardy than no Jamie Vardy at all, because of what he gives the team and his threat.

“But we also have to consider the risk of further injury and that’s what we’re weighing up.

“He’s come through the last two days on the (training) field well. We’ll see how that looks in the morning, but I’m very confident he’ll be involved in some part.”

Rodgers also confirmed Wilfred Ndidi is fit to start but Nampalys Mendy (knee) and Wes Morgan (illness) will not be available.

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Wilfred Ndidi (pictured battling with Newcastle’s Yoshinori Muto) is fit to play in Leciester’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Aston Villa (Owen Humphreys/PA Images).

Wilfred Ndidi (pictured battling with Newcastle’s Yoshinori Muto) is fit to play in Leciester’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Aston Villa (Owen Humphreys/PA Images).

PA Wire/PA Images

Wilfred Ndidi (pictured battling with Newcastle’s Yoshinori Muto) is fit to play in Leciester’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Aston Villa (Owen Humphreys/PA Images).

In terms of bolstering his squad Rodgers is cautiously optimistic about bringing in defensive reinforcements.

“It’s still ongoing and it will go into this week,” he said. “There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes to get a few players in but we’ll see how the rest of the week goes and what it brings.

“It’s still a possibility; it’s always difficult to get the players you want but there are ongoing discussions so hopefully we can do some work.”

Leicester travel to Villa Park with the Carabao Cup semi-final tie delicately poised after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

“It’s a semi-final and a wonderful opportunity for us,” Rodgers said. “We played well in the first game and didn’t get the result we wanted so we’re looking forward to it. It will be tight but both teams will go all out.

“They’re confident, after some good results. We’ve got to bring that quality we’ve had and use it to get to that final.

“We’ve got to stay calm. There’s a lot of emotion around these games. You have to play with emotion but also calmness. We’re happy with where it’s at.”

PA