Brendan Rodgers had been fairly optimistic about James Justin’s prognosis after was stretchered off in the FA Cup win over Brighton. We had to wait on scans, but the stretcher was just a precaution and he might be fine.
The scans have come back: he’s not fine.
Brendan Rodgers confirms James Justin has sustained an ACL injury. A cruel blow for one of this season’s best players for #lcfc. Had played every minute in the Premier League so far. Wish him all the best— John Percy (@JPercyTelegraph) February 12, 2021
The injury comes with horrible timing for Justin, whose form has been so high all season that he was finally starting to get attention for a place in this summer’s England squad.
The high level of his play was of course the standout, but his versatility and reliability were maybe his most impressive traits. That may as well have been the ultimate cause of his injury, bad luck though it was.
Contributing equally successfully at RB, LB, RWB, LWB and even CB, Justin was yet to miss a league minute for the Foxes this season. He was a crucial swiss army knife at the back. So crucial that we could never find a time to rest him, even in the Cup.
James Justin has torn his ACL, confirms Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 12, 2021
He is England's highest WhoScored rated left-back in the Premier League this season pic.twitter.com/1WXyP4lvUj
The U21 international took full advantage of the absence of Ricardo Pereira, a fullback who tore his ACL in the second half of a “Player of the Season” level year, with the Foxes in 3rd place at the time.
Let’s hope this doesn’t become an annual thing.
The Foxes are lucky, if you can call it that, that Ricardo is now back to at least near full fitness, which will lessen the blow.
Timothy Castagne could (possibly) be back in some capacity by next weekend as well, at which point we’d be back to having two very big quality fullbacks, although the missing Justin will still be felt.
In the meantime, the squad is still fairly blessed at the position. It will probably mean another chance for Luke Thomas to impress, just as he did after Ben Chilwell’s injury last year, while the ever dependable Christian Fuchs can fill in as needed.
Vontae Daley-Campbell showed in his debut against Brighton that we had even more depth than it seemed.
Still, this is a cruel blow for the Foxes, and especially for Justin, who having a hell of a season. Get well soon James!