Jose Manuel Jurado has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury and has been ruled out of the game on Saturday, but Odion Ighalo has shaken off the dead leg he picked up against West Ham United and will be fit to lead the line against Leicester City.
Jurado has been missing since crashing a free-kick against the underside of the crossbar against Crystal Palace with a hamstring injury he sustained during a sprint in training. In concert with the medical team, Quique Sanchez Flores has been keen not to rush his key playmaker back too soon, especially with the team performing so well and an international break coming up. Jurado has recovered from the hamstring strain and would have come into consideration for Saturday had he not picked up another unspecified injury. Sanchez Flores did not want to go into too much detail but it is understood not to be serious as the Spaniard was seen jogging and stretching with senior sport scientist Ben Dixon on Wednesday morning.
“We are still waiting for Jurado,” said Sanchez Flores. “He is not coming for the weekend. The first injury is OK but the last week he has another problem, a very small problem.”
Ighalo worked with Jurado and Dixon away from the main group on Wednesday but it is thought that was just a precautionary measure as he eases himself back in to action after a robust challenge from James Collins.
“He is training with us, he is fine,” said the head coach.
Valon Behrami is fully fit and itching to win his place back but it is inconceivable Ben Watson will be left out after what many consider his best performance in a Watford shirt on Saturday.
“We have very good midfield players,” said Sanchez Flores. “Some of them are playing, like Watson, like Capoue. Others are waiting but they are ready to play, like Behrami and Guedioura. I talk a lot with these players and make sure they know they are important to us.”
Steven Berghuis stuck his hand up for a place in the 20-man party who will travel to Leicester tomorrow with a screamer in training on Wednesday, a left footed effort he slammed past Heurelho Gomes in off the underside of the bar after cutting in from the right flank. It was an effort that drew warm applause from his teammates. Berghuis will take some comfort from the fact that his former FC Twente teammate, countryman and friend Ola John is now finding his feet at Reading after an indifferent start, scoring the equaliser against Huddersfield on Tuesday night.
“He’s adapting to the league,” said Sanchez Flores. “He’s a very big talent. I gave him opportunities in matches, playing 20 to 25 minutes in big, very tough moments. But the league is very tough for Steven at the minute. He has to use this period to adapt a little more.”
Berghuis, Victor Ibarbo, Alessandro Diamanti and Obbi Oulare all fall into the list of players Sanchez Flores is talking about when he says: “When I receive the sign in training that they are going to play then they will play. It is difficult.”
Troy Deeney is a certain starter at the King Power Stadium. Click HERE to read his thoughts on Jamie Vardy and how their path to the top has been similar