Barnes blow for Leicester City as winger ruled out of England contention

A second knee operation will see Harvey Barnes miss the Premier League run-in, as well as the FA Cup final on May 15.
Agency News Contributor

Updated - 29 April 2021 10:14 am

Winger Harvey Barnes has suffered a setback in his return from a knee injury, ruling the winger out for not just the remainder of the domestic season but also Euro 2020. Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed on Wednesday that Barnes – who has not played since a 3-1 home loss to Arsenal on February 28 – underwent a second operation to clean out the knee. Barnes has scored nine goals and provided four assists in 25 league games for Leicester, who are on course to qualify for next season’s Champions League with a top-four finish.

“We’ve had a slight setback with Harvey,” Rodgers told the media.

“He’s just gone in to have a second, minor operation, just to clear up some of the damage in his knee.

“It will probably rule him out for the rest of the season, but the plan is really to get him through this second little operation and then he’ll be back for pre-season and fit and ready for next season.”

The procedure means the Foxes will have to do without the 23-year-old for the Premier League run-in, as well as the FA Cup final against Chelsea on May 15.

Barnes impressively outperformed his expected goals (xG) number of 5.9 in league action in 2020-21, scoring nine times from 56 shots while also creating 26 chances for his team-mates.

His impressive form at club level led to a full international debut last October, as he came on as a late substitute in England’s 3-0 friendly win over Wales.

However, any hope he had of forcing his way into Gareth Southgate’s plans for Euro 2020 have been ended by further surgery, with Rodgers making clear the target is to be ready for the start of the 2021-22 season.

“It’s a shame because he’s been absolutely outstanding for us this season,” Rodgers added. “Of course, we hoped he’d be back to play some part, but it’s not to be.

“The most important thing is getting his knee right and getting him ready for next season.”

Leicester sit third in the table with five games remaining – they have a seven-point gap over fifth-placed West Ham after Monday’s 2-1 home win over Crystal Palace, putting them on course to play in the Champions League for just the second time in their history.