Harvey Barnes to return 'quicker than expected' after injury worry

Harvey Barnes hands Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers a boost as he looks set to return ‘quicker than expected’ after picking up an ankle injury against Southampton

  • The winger was forced off at half-time with fears of a long spell on the sidelines
  • But Barnes may be back in action before the international break halts club action
  • Barnes and team-mate James Maddison have had a major impact on this season

Harvey Barnes could hand Leicester a much-needed boost by returning to action quicker than expected after injuring his ankle at Southampton.

The winger was forced off at half-time of the 1-0 defeat, which plunged Leicester into relegation trouble, and the most pessimistic expectations were that he would face up to a month on the sidelines.

Yet initial indications are that the damage is thought not to be as bad as first feared, with Barnes expected to undergo further checks on the ankle on Thursday. 

While the turnaround may be too quick for the 25-year-old to feature prominently in Leicester’s home game against Chelsea on Saturday, Barnes may be able to play a more significant role at Brentford on March 18, in the final round of Premier League fixtures before the international break.

Harvey Barnes was substituted at half-time after picking up an injury against Southampton

Brendan Rodger will be counting his lucky stars Barnes avoided a long spell on the sidelines

Barnes is one of Leicester’s few consistent attacking threats and it would be a huge blow to lose him for a long period. The winger has eight goals and a single assist in the league this term, in a team who have struggled for most of the campaign.

Between them, he and James Maddison have 17 of Leicester’s 36 league goals, with Maddison registering nine along with five assists. With Maddison also playing through the pain barrier with an ongoing knee issue, boss Brendan Rodgers can ill afford to lose Barnes for a number of games.

Barnes and James Maddison (right) are invaluable inclusions in Leicester’s starting XI this year

After taking on Chelsea and Brentford, Leicester face a run of games in April that is likely to define their season.

Five of their six matches are against teams in the bottom half of the table, including clashes with fellow strugglers Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Wolves and Leeds.

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