Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness as he chases a record-equaling goal in the Premier League. The forward missed England’s games with Spain and France with a hip injury but trained on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s trip to Newcastle. The Foxes will assess the 28-year-old over the next 48 hours with Vardy a game away from equaling Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Barclays Premier League record of scoring in 10 straight matches when the Dutchman was at Manchester United in 2003.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri said:
“Today he trained a little and tomorrow I hope he can continue to train. Maybe on Saturday morning I’ll choose.
“If he is fit he plays because every time he wants to play. I hope he is available. I speak with the doctor and the physio, if they tell me he is okay and 100 per cent, he plays. If not, I don’t want to risk a player – not just Jamie. In all my career I don’t want to risk a player for a match and then lose them for a month.”
Vardy has scored in nine consecutive games and is the league’s top scorer as he closes in on van Nistelrooy’s feat. He could miss the game and still return the following week to face Manchester United with his streak intact. The record is for scoring in consecutive Barclays Premier League appearances and not for scoring in successive top flight matches played by a player’s club.
“Van Nistelrooy scored in two different seasons, at the end of one and the beginning of another. For me it’s important he (Vardy) feels good – if he scores or not scores it’s not my problem. I’m thinking about other things, I’m thinking about Newcastle, not penalties or records because it will be a tough match.
“Everybody wants to stop Jamie Vardy, it’s normal as he is our goalscorer. We know that – maybe we’ll try to pass the ball to other players.”
But Ranieri eased any fears Vardy would need an operation to cure the hip problem.
He added: “It’s not my decision, it’s the doctor’s decision but at the moment Jamie doesn’t need this kind of operation. I hope he can continue in this way. No pain, no injection so far.”
Ranieri is waiting on Wes Morgan to return following international duty with Jamaica but expects to have everyone fit except long-term injury victim Matty James (knee).