Brendan Rodgers has defended his club’s decision to play Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi just 13 days after he had a knee operation.
Last month, Ndidi, who is one of the main players in the premier league, with the highest tackle rate, went through a knee operation, and was swung into action almost two weeks later in what Rodgers described as an “incredible recovery”.
After just two appearances, against West Ham and Aston Villa, Ndidi’s knee inflamed and he has been ruled out for this weekend’s clash with Manchester City, his third straight match he has missed out on due to the injury.
Football pundits and experts have criticized Rodgers’ decision to bring back Ndidi so quickly but the former Liverpool boss was quick to defend his actions.
“Medically, he passed the tests and measures to show he was okay,” said Rodgers.
“He had played a game and a half. He came on here after half an hour against West Ham and came through that. Then he played in the other game [in the Carabao Cup second leg v Villa].
“From a manager’s perspective, you’re guided by medics and himself. He just didn’t quite get the right feeling going into the Chelsea game.”
”We can’t put any pressure on him to force him through,” added Rodgers. “I know that he’s the type of player who wants to play in every game.
“We just have to take our time with him and make sure he’s right for the next time he comes back.
“It’s a case of, he had a bone that’s been there in his knee, in that meniscus, and that gets taken out. Initially he responded well to that, training and playing. But since then there’s been a slight reaction to the knee not having that in there. That’s just around the individual player.
“We don’t want to force it. He’s doing various exercises, jumping up and down and moving and all of that. We could easily just fire him in, but we have to make sure he’s right, and for that I’ll be guided by our medical team, who are very good.”