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Leicester's Jamie Vardy out for eight weeks due to hamstring injury

Patson Daka is also injured and will miss AFCON, while Kelechi Iheanacho is at the tournament with Nigeria; Jonny Evans is also sidelined until April; Brendan Rodgers reveals he has only nine senior outfield players fit for Saturday's game against Watford

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy (PA)
Image: Leicester striker Jamie Vardy will be absent for eight weeks

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy will be out for eight weeks after suffering a hamstring injury.

Vardy - 35 this month - had complained of an issue during the Carabao Cup defeat at Liverpool in December. He was rested for the Boxing Day trip to Manchester City, but then suffered the injury in the Premier League win over Liverpool in late December.

Vardy will not need an operation, but the injury is worse than first feared.

Patson Daka is also injured and will miss the Africa Cup of Nations, while Kelechi Iheanacho is at the tournament with Nigeria, leaving Rodgers with limited options up front.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20:  Leicester City's Jonny Evans during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Chelsea at The King Power Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Stephen White - CameraSport via Getty Images)
Image: Jonny Evans has also been ruled out until April as Leicester's injury problems mount

Jonny Evans has also had an operation to solve his own hamstring problem after limping off against Newcastle in December and is sidelined until April.

Boss Brendan Rodgers said: "Jamie will be out for a number of weeks. It's been unfortunate for him but we're looking at up to eight weeks. He'll be out for a period of time.

"His is the higher end of his hamstring. You are looking into March for Jamie. He doesn't need an operation and that was the only good news from it."

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Evans has been plagued by a foot issue for almost a year but it is the hamstring injury he suffered against the Magpies that will keep the Northern Ireland international out.

Rodgers added: "He has had an operation so he will be April, with his hamstring he needed that."

The news of Vardy and Evans' extended absences was yet another blow for Rodgers, who revealed he has only nine senior outfield players available for Leicester's FA Cup third-round tie at home to Watford on Saturday.

That number includes Timothy Castagne, who is struggling with an injury but may be able to play some part in the fixture.

Leicester fixtures

January 8: Watford (H) - FA Cup third round

January 11: Everton (A) - live on Sky Sports

January 15: Burnley (A)

January 19: Tottenham (H)

January 23: Brighton (H)

February 10: Liverpool (A)

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