Harvey Barnes is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed the winger would likely require surgery on a knee injury.
The in-form 23-year-old, whose impressive displays had put him firmly in the conversation around England’s Euro 2020 squad, was substituted six minutes into the second half of Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Arsenal.
And Rodgers confirmed Barnes had significantly aggravated an issue that first came to light earlier this month.
“It’s not good news, it looks like he needs to go in for an operation, so it will be a minimum of six weeks,” said Rodgers, whose squad has been hugely impacted by injury setbacks.
“I believe it’s around his cartilage. He had a clash of knees a few weeks ago, so it has just been irritable. Today he’s had a challenge right on it [and that] has just made it worse.
“He’ll need that repaired. He’s had niggles with it, that’s why we tried to recover him on Thursday, to take some pressure off him, but unfortunately it’s a bad one for him, and a huge blow for us.
“I’ll hear more on Monday, but initially that’s what we think it is.”
Brendan Rodgers gives his thoughts on City’s #LeiArs defeat and an update on Harvey Barnes and Jonny Evans
— Leicester City (@LCFC) February 28, 2021
The Foxes’ treatment room is a busy place at present, with James Maddison, James Justin, Wesley Fofana, Ayoze Perez, Dennis Praet and Wes Morgan all out of action.
Worse still for the Champions League hopefuls, defender Jonny Evans was forced off with a calf problem against the Gunners, who roared back from 1-0 down at the King Power Stadium.
“He’s had this dead calf, which he’s been able to get through, but in some games he has made some actions that have aggravated it,” said Rodgers. “He’ll need a scan to see where he’s at.
“We’re down to the bare bones, we’ve carried it all season and the players have been great. It’s absolutely fair enough.
“My players to this point have been brilliant, but we’ve suffered with a lot, and found a way, but when you’re missing the influential players and can’t change, it makes it difficult. We’ll find a way.
“One thing that goes when you have that tiredness is technique, when passes go astray. With our team, it’s usually crisp and precise with our passing.”
The minimum six-week recovery time for Barnes would see him miss five top-flight games and the FA Cup quarter-final with Manchester United.
Despite the defeat, which came on the heels of Thursday’s Europa League exit at the hands of Slavia Prague, Leicester sit third in the Premier League.