Kelechi Iheanacho Injury: Will His Absence Make a Difference?

Kelechi Iheanacho Injury: Will His Absence Make a Difference?
LEEDS, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City walks off the pitch after being substituted after receiving medical treatment during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Leicester City at Elland Road on April 25, 2023 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Nigeria national football team forward Kelechi Iheanacho is going to spend a few weeks on the sidelines after picking up an injury playing for Leicester City against Leeds United in the Premier League.

This will see the former Manchester City man miss most of their remaining games in the most important time of their season. Leicester are currently 18th on the Premier League table and a few points away from safety.

“Iheanacho's injury could rule him out for the rest of the season”, says Dean Smith

Iheanacho has been sparsely used this season, just like in all the seasons he has donned the blue of the East Midlands club.

Following the sacking of Brendan Rodgers a few weeks ago and his replacement with former Aston Villa manager Dean Smith, the Super Eagles forward has enjoyed more game time.

Against Leeds, he made his 26 Premier League appearance and his 33rd overall appearance of the season. He was unable to get on the scoresheet or provide an assist, but he was vital to the Foxes comeback in the game which saw them leave Elland Road with a point.

Iheanacho, who is expected to make José Peseiro's Super Eagles squad for the AFCON 2023 tournament, had a few chances to draw his side level. He was impeded by a resolute Leeds defence and denied by Illan Meslier twice after their hosts had gone ahead.

Another moment of inspiration saw him create some beautiful football which set James Maddison up for his assist to Jamie Vardy on the 80th minute for Leicester's equaliser. Iheanacho would finish the game with the rest of the team but it would be discovered in the dressing room that he had injured his adductor during the match.

Sheer willpower drove him to keep going and Smith believes that it may have done more harm than good for the AFCON 2023 hopeful.

“He’s got a tear in his adductor muscle. It puts him out for a number of weeks. It’s significant enough,” Smith said afterwards. “It’s not going to rule him out until the end of the season, there’s five games to go. But it’s going to be tough to get him back. Hopefully we can.”

Leicester City's chances without Iheanacho

Smith's comments are from a place of worry thanks to the immaculate form of “Senior Man” in the past few game weeks.

The former Norwich City manager also made mention of this in the press conference where he told the media about the Nigeria Super Eagles forward's injury. “He’d just scored two goals in two games and was putting in a good performance. It’s unfortunate for him. It’s a blow,” Smith said.

“He came on against Man City and did ever so well. He scored a goal, hit the post and had another chance as well. I thought he played well in the Wolves game, scoring and creating opportunities for Vards.

“His all-around displays have been really good. It will be a loss but like always it gives opportunities for others now.” he said, via the club’s official website.

Iheanacho has been their most important player on many occasions and an injury to him is like an injury to their chances of remaining in the Premier League.

They will struggle in their next five games to create as many chances as they have in the last few games. This will make their task of staying up even harder but it will help Iheanacho's chances of moving to a new club in the summer.

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This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago

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