Wilfred Ndidi was not rushed back from surgery, Brendan Rodgers has insisted, amid the Nigerian’s continued knee problems.
Last month, Ndidi returned to action 13 days after a knee operation in what Rodgers described as an “incredible recovery”.
However, after just two appearances, against West Ham and Aston Villa, the pain returned to Ndidi’s knee and he has now been ruled out of a third straight match with Rodgers confirming his unavailability for this weekend’s clash with Manchester City.
The boss is not putting a timeline on the 23-year-old’s return either to ensure there is no recurrence of the problem, but he is adamant that the soreness was not caused by a rushed return.
“Medically, he passed the tests and measures to show he was okay,” said Rodgers.
“He had played a game and a half. He came on here after half an hour against West Ham and came through that. Then he played in the other game [in the Carabao Cup second leg v Villa].
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“From a manager’s perspective, you’re guided by medics and himself. He just didn’t quite get the right feeling going into the Chelsea game.”
Ndidi was initially in the line-up to play against Chelsea three weeks ago, but was pulled out at the last minute after Rodgers noticed he wasn’t moving freely.
Ndidi’s desire is to play in every game, but City are now forcing him to be patient.
”We can’t put any pressure on him to force him through,” added Rodgers. “I know that he’s the type of player who wants to play in every game.
“We just have to take our time with him and make sure he’s right for the next time he comes back.
“It’s a case of, he had a bone that’s been there in his knee, in that meniscus, and that gets taken out. Initially he responded well to that, training and playing. But since then there’s been a slight reaction to the knee not having that in there. That’s just around the individual player.
“We don’t want to force it. He’s doing various exercises, jumping up and down and moving and all of that. We could easily just fire him in, but we have to make sure he’s right, and for that I’ll be guided by our medical team, who are very good.”Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.