Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Portuguese right-back Ricardo Pereira suffered an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury during Monday night’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa.
Ricardo will miss the remainder of the season as well as the European Championships, with Rodgers admitting the severity of the injury to the 26-year-old came as a surprise.
Former Porto man Ricardo completed the full ninety minutes of the 4-0 victory over Villa, but the clash with opposition player Jack Grealish has proved more serious than initially realised. “Ricardo, unfortunately, hurt his ACL and that means he will be out for the rest of the season, which is a huge blow for us because he’s a fantastic player for us,” Rodgers said during a press conference on Thursday.
“I think it’s the first injury he’s had since I’ve come in. The tackle he had with Jack Grealish was just a coming together and he actually carried on in the game, so it was a surprise when we were told.
"One of the top right-backs"
“It’s a real shame for him because he’s one of the top right-backs at this level. He’s with the medical team at the moment. He’s a brilliant player who’s been great for us all season, very consistent in training and games. It’s a blow for us, but it’s an opportunity for someone else.
“Hopefully we’ll get him back around pre-season. You’ve just got to see how the player reacts. The earliest on an injury like that is four months, latest would be six months. That’s the kind of timescale which is anticipated.”
The news is a huge blow for Ricardo, who has been one of Portugal’s best-performing players across Europe this season. The Lisbon-born Seleção man was awarded the Fans’ Player of the Year and the Players’ Player of the Year at Leicester last term after a superb debut campaign following his €25m move from the Estádio do Dragão.
By Sean Gillen