Football

Claudio Ranieri expects Jamie Vardy to be fit for the start of next season after undergoing summer wrist surgery.

Claudio Ranieri expects Jamie Vardy to be fit for new season after wrist surgery

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Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri believes Jamie Vardy will be fit for the start of next season despite the striker having an operation on his wrist this summer.

Vardy is expected to be included in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the upcoming European Championship, and will undergo surgery in July after the showpiece tournament in France.

The Foxes' 24-goal top scorer, who picked up the Football Writers' Player of the Season award on Thursday, broke his wrist against Aston Villa in September and has worn a blue cast on his right arm during games to avoid any further damage as Leicester romped to the Barclays Premier League title.

But Ranieri expects the 29-year-old to be available for the Community Shield against the FA Cup winners - either Manchester United or Crystal Palace - in August.

The Italian said: "I think it's a little operation, then I think he'll be ready for the Community Shield. I think now (he will be fine). Afterwards I will speak to the surgery and we will see."

Ranieri added of the former non-league player: "He has been amazing. It tells all the other non-league players, 'hey, come on, this is a good sport, good publicity for everyone. Everyone can make mistakes but if you want to do something you must believe and something can happen'."

Leicester are 10 points clear at the top of the table and go to Chelsea, Ranieri's former club, for Sunday's season-finale.

And the 64-year-old admits his return to Stamford Bridge as a league champion will be emotional, with the hosts expected to give the Foxes a guard of honour.

"It's amazing. I have been there with Juventus in the Champions League but this time it is different because I am manager of Leicester, another English club. It is emotional. I hope my older fans are happy with me," he said.

"When I think of something special I think of Nessun Dorma and when I came here I saw the last match is at Chelsea, wow, and now I came back as a champion. It's a good story."

Midfielder Danny Drinkwater is available after suspension, but defender Robert Huth serves the second match of his three-game ban.

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