Shakespeare Talks Injuries & Pearson
Manager Craig Shakespeare has given an injury update ahead of this weekend's clash against Liverpool and he's also spoken about Nigel Pearson taking over at Leicester City sister club OH Leuven.
With us going into the second King Power Stadium clash of the week against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, Shakespeare gave lcfc.com an update on seven players.
Matty James picked up an Achilles injury in the game against Chelsea, and went on to miss clashes against Huddersfield Town and Liverpool in the EFL Cup, and Shakespeare explained it was now expected he would be sidelined for between four to six weeks.
'Unfortunately, Matty James will be out for around four to six weeks. He`s got an Achilles strain and his foot is in a boot. I`m gutted for Matty as an individual because of the timing of it. He`s worked his way back but it`s something he can deal with mentally as it`s short term rather than long term.'
'I know what Matty has been through. He`s at that stage where he wants to do well and train and doesn`t want to sit out training. I have to say, for the last 18 months, including the Barnsley loan, he hasn`t missed a day`s training. He picked this up against Chelsea and carried on. Maybe if he`d have come off, he might have protected it a bit more, but that`s the nature and the character of the player.'
A positive on the injury front is we can welcome back Christian Fuchs for the tie as he's recovered from the 'freak' eye injury he picked up in training.
'Christian Fuchs is fine and has got the all clear form the specialist. He`s trained all week and had no ill effects. He`s clear to play. He`s in my thoughts and he`s been training fine.'
With five goals in the last three appearances, Jamie Vardy will be assessed late on following his substitution in the game against Huddersfield with a tight groin.
'Jamie Vardy has trained this morning so hopefully there will be no reaction. If there`s no reaction, we`ll see how he is in the morning and if he`s ready to be involved. He looked okay in training - we`ve had to take it easy on him as part of the week. He was really keen to get out there today and we need him to continue that scoring run against Liverpool.'
Robert Huth remains unavailable owing to his ankle injury however he did make an appearance for our Under 23 side so he's getting nearer and both Vicente Iborra and Kelechi Iheanacho have shown improvement.
'Robert Huth won`t be ready. It seems with Robert at the moment that we take one step forward and a step back as well. Unfortunately, with Robert, he`s not quite there to progress, so we`ll take it steady with him. We`ve got some of the other players back. We saw Vicente Iborra on Tuesday night, who managed to play the 90 minutes and he`ll benefit from that. Kelechi Iheanacho is looking a lot fitter after 48 hours in terms of where he was and getting his conditioning right. We`re slowly getting to a fully-competitive squad.'
Leonardo Ulloa has also returned to training after being substituted against Liverpool after a spell of dizziness.
'I watched it back a few times and it was a strange one. It`s down to the physio`s discretion. It was more dizziness from that in terms of the way he headed the ball. He didn`t train on Wednesday, but he did train on Thursday and he`s been fine since. He wasn`t concussed and wasn`t out, which is important to stress. It was just a bit of dizziness and we had to make a quick decision, which we did. Maybe if we had given him another five minutes, he`d have been fine to carry on, but I felt like the decision needed to be made and that`s why we brought Shinji on.'
With news of Pearson's appointment at Belgian side OH Leuven, Shakey was also quoted by Sky Sports as saying that he was delighted and 'very pleased' to see him back.
With the ties between the two clubs owing to our owners, chances are come January Pearson might be tapping up his old assistant for a few players.
'I'm very pleased. Everyone knows my association with Nigel. We have kept in regular contact, when he picks his phone up. It's great to see a real football person back. I'm really pleased for him and also I think it's a great shout on the owners' part in terms of a real good manager and hopefully they can go forward now.'
'I know from speaking to the owners how they regard Nigel and I think nothing should surprise you in football. I'm just really pleased for Nigel because I think he's had his time away from football. Knowing how he works and what he's capable of - I'm really glad to see him back in.'
Shakespeare went on to say that Pearson had always indicated a desire to manage abroad, so he's knows it's a fantastic opportunity for him to tick that one off the list, knowing he'll be backed to grow the side as he was when at Leicester.
'We'd always spoken about that, and he had always hinted that he would like the opportunity to go abroad. He was never one of those managers that wanted to stay in England - he wanted to broaden his horizons and this gives him that opportunity. When I spoke to him he sounded really enthusiastic which is really good to hear because as a manager when you're out of work you can often wonder where the next opportunity is going to come from.'