Northern Ireland coach Ian Baraclough has admitted that Jonny Evans’ foot injury is a potential problem for his post-soccer life.
The 33-year-old defender is battling plantar fasciitis – pain in the sole, heel and that Arch – and has only played 165 minutes of football for Leicester City since being sent off at the FA Cup Final in May.
Such is the persistent nature of the injury, it was hard for club bosses Brendan Rodgers or Baraclough, a lot of certainty about the availability of Evans.
He has been called up to the first two Northern Irish squads so far this season, but is not available for today’s game in Bulgaria and will not play a minute in any of the international game windows.
When announcing the roster, Baraclough said that Evans would make the final decision on participation.
Now the Northern Ireland boss has spoken of the long-term concerns Evans raised about these calls The coach offered Leicester the hope of a possible return in time for Saturday’s home game against Evans’ ex-club Manchester United.
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“It’s worrying for everyone, whether it’s me, Leicester or Jonny,” said Baraclough. “Not only does he have to think about his foot for the rest of his career, but also for life after football.
” I think they made great strides with it and Jonny is much happier with the way it is. He’s just coming to Leicester because of an illness and it was probably more than the foot that set him back a little.
“It was one of those decisions between me, (Leicester Manager) Brendan Rodgers and Jonny, not to give him risk but he will be training at Leicester again and I think maybe he will have a chance to play Manchester United over the weekend. “
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