Leicester City has been dealt a double injury blow ahead of their FA Cup fixture against Watford on Saturday.
The Foxes, who are also the current holders of England’s most prestigious domestic trophy, will be desperate to get through their third-round cup tie against fellow Premier League side Watford.
However, despite being drawn to play at home against Claudio Raneri’s Hornets, Brendan Rodgers’ side must now navigate the tricky tie without two senior first players.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the cup clash, Rodgers confirmed that both striker Jamie Vardy and centre-back Jonny Evans will be missing due to injury.
“Jamie will be out for a number of weeks,” Rodgers said (as quoted by The Athletic). “It’s been unfortunate for him. We’re probably looking up to eight weeks,” Rodgers said on Friday.
“It could be up to eight weeks. It’s the higher end of his hamstring, so you’re looking into March. He doesn’t need an operation, that was the only good news.
“Jonny Evans has just had an operation so he will be April. He’s needed that on his hamstring.
“Soyuncu you’re looking towards Burnley, so that’s good news. But Jonny, not so good.”
Not only are Vardy and Evans now set to be sidelined for the immediate future, but the Foxes could also be without Bouba Soumare, Luke Thomas, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Ryan Bertrand and Timothy Castagne.
Although Soumare is suffering from an illness, Thomas is unavailable and Dewsbury-Hall has a calf injury, there is minor hope for Bertrand and Castange, who have a slim chance of featuring this weekend, but there are no guarantees at this stage.
It is not just injuries that Leicester City is forced to contend with though.
Four first players are set to feature in this month’s African Cup of Nations meaning the club only have a total of just 15 fit and available first players to pick from.
Following what is turning out to be a bit of a selection crisis for the Foxes, Rodgers and his coaching team must now find a way to field a side capable of reaching the FA Cup’s Fourth Round.
Saturday’s FA Cup tie between Leicester City and Watford is scheduled to kick off at 3 p.m (UK time) and will be not televised by British broadcasters.