Nigeria international Wilfred Ndidi is set to be on the sidelines for three months, with his injury confirmed to be more serious than first thought.
Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca said the midfielder’s muscle injury will keep him off the pitch for a long time.
The 27-year-old was ruled out of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) due to the same injury and was consequently left out of Nigeria’s final squad for the tournament.
Before his injury, Ndidi had made a great start to the season, having featured 21 times for Leicester City in the English Championship.
Leicester to miss Wilfred Ndidi for crucial games
He has also been involved in 10 goals in all competitions this term – four goals and six assists – which has helped to catapult the Foxes to the top of the English second tier.
However, the latest news concerning Ndidi’s injury means Leicester will be without the services of the influential midfielder for the crucial part of the season.
The Nigerian is now set to miss at least 15 of the Foxes’ remaining 20 league matches as they aim to secure promotion to the Premier League.
“For Wilf, it will be a long time,” Leicester manager Enzo Maresca said ahead of his side’s FA Cup game against Millwall on Saturday, as quoted by the BBC.
“It could be three months. It looks like a muscle problem, but an important one so we now see in the next hours.”
Alhassan Yusuf replaces Ndidi in Super Eagles squad
Meanwhile, Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro has already been preparing for life without Ndidi at the AFCON after inviting Alhassan Yusuf as his replacement.
Yusuf, who plays for Belgian champions Royal Antwerp, arrived in the Super Eagles camp on Thursday and is expected to play a key role during the tournament.
The 23-year-old is one of the highly-rated Nigerian players outside Europe’s top five leagues, having impressed in the Champions League group stages this season.