Ndidi: Leicester ready for EPL restart

first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles stars model new national team jersey Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ Ings not interested in leaving Saints, Southampton manager says The Leicester City squad are ready to face whatever the Premier League throws at them as they prepare for the restart of the season, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has declared.After more than two months training alone, City have been back at Belvoir Drive as a team for the past fortnight, resuming contact sessions last week. And while they only have three more weeks to prepare before the campaign resumes on the weekend of June 20-21, Ndidi is confident he and his team-mates are already in the right physical and mental state for their remaining nine league games and push to secure qualification to the Champions League.“I would say we’re ready because even during the lockdown, everyone was working at home,” the 23-year-old, who became a first-time dad during the break, told LCFC TV. “So, we’re always ready and we’ll just see what comes next.“We’re just working hard. Everyone is keeping fit, working hard and the mentality is great, so we’ll just see what comes.”Manager Brendan Rodgers backed up that statement, and said he has been impressed with what he has seen from his squad on the training ground.“This early feeling has been about getting back into some sort of normality, getting into contact again, and I have to say, the players have been superb,” the manager said. “They’ve gone away and done a lot of work in their lockdown, come back and we tested them and they’re at a really high level, which is testament to the work they’ve done while we’ve been giving them programmes.”What the City players have not had for the past two months is the camaraderie of being with their teammates.That has changed now, and Ndidi believes it will spur the squad on.“I’m so glad because after staying home for so long, training alone, I’m so happy to see to see the boys, to see everyone in the training ground,” he said.“It has been amazing because seeing these guys, everyone is okay. So, we’re really happy to be back. I’m really, really happy to see these boys and see the manager and everyone. “The work I was doing in the garden, it was more difficult because I was alone. There was no push.“But training with the other guys now, you see some guys faster than you, so you try to push and try to catch up because you follow the pace of someone even better than you. You have to give 100 per cent.”Tags: Leicester City FCPremier LeagueWilfred Ndidilast_img read more

Byron Scott maintains Kobe Bryant will play in LA Lakers season opener

first_imgBut Scott has become conservative with Bryant’s workload partly because he played a combined 41 games in the last two years amid season-ending injuries to his left knee and right shoulder. Scott also has stayed cautious because the exhibition season bodes more significance on ironing out rotations than maximizing results. So will Scott become just as careful once the 2015-16 season starts because of Bryant’s recent injuries?“That’s a different model. When you start the regular season, I don’t know too many teams where guys are all healthy,” Scott said. “You’re going to have your bumps and bruises. It’s a matter of ‘Are you hurt or are you injured?’ We know he’s been able to play through things that most guys can’t play through. When the season started, it’ll be totally different than it would be in the preseason.”Yet, that could become a tricky balance.Bryant has a proven track record in playing through countless knee, ankle and wrist injuries through 19 NBA seasons. But Bryant has played 55,415 career minutes in 1,500 games, numbers that could exacerbate the seriousness of any minor injury. “Conversations will always be the determination. We have a great rapport,” said Scott, who mentored Bryant his rookie season. “He’s very honest with me when his body is not feeling good and he’s very honest with me when it is. I base it on those feelings.”But the Lakers argue they could indirectly benefit from Bryant’s absence when the results still do not matter. They hope to ensure the team’s success does not hinge on Bryant’s health or effectiveness.“We’re getting better even if Kobe’s not on the court,” Lakers forward Julius Randle said. “We’re all young and just trying to learn the game of basketball and get better and build. When Kobe is on the court, he’ll add that extra dimension we don’t have, obviously. But with or without him, we’re going to get better. We know what to expect when he comes back.” EL Segundo >> For once, Lakers coach Byron Scott offered some doubt on Kobe Bryant. It all had to do with whether Bryant will play in the Lakers’ preseason finale against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday at Anaheim.“Ninety-percent chance he will not play tomorrow,” Scott said. “There is a 10-percent chance he can convince me otherwise.”Bryant has missed the Lakers’ last two preseason games and six practices in the past week after bruising his lower left leg last Tuesday against Sacramento in Las Vegas. Although Scott dismissed the significance of Bryant’s injury, the Lakers’ star has not completed any running exercises yet, either. But Scott remained adamant that Bryant “will be ready” for the Lakers’ season opener against Minnesota on Oct. 28 at Staples Center.“I’m not in a hurry,” Scott said after practice Wednesday at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. “I don’t want him to lose his conditioning and I know he doesn’t want to lose it. But I’m still not in a real hurry. I’m not concerned.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Apparently, neither are Bryant’s teammates. Lakers forward Metta World Peace deflected the speculation about Bryant’s health with a dose of humor. “He’s not out,” World Peace said. “LeBron James is out. (Stephen) Curry didn’t start. (Michael) Jordan retired. But he said he might want to come back.”How many points would the 52-year-old Jordan score if the Charlotte Hornets owner made his third NBA comeback?“It depends how big his belly is,” World Peace said. “If he has a flat belly, I say 20 (points per game). If he has a big belly, I don’t know, sixth man.” Bryant has averaged 13 points on 45.45-percent shooting and 1.4 assists in 18.1 minutes. But the Lakers have much higher expectations for Bryant, who is entering his 20th and perhaps final NBA season. He also will adorn the cover of the Lakers 2015-16 media guide with various images of his career, wearing both the Nos. 8 and 24 in a purple and gold uniform. last_img read more