Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson declares star defender ahead of schedule

Leicester City

Matthew Upson could return from injury sooner rather than later.

Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has revealed that veteran centre-back Matthew Upson could return to first-team football earlier than expected.

Upson, who has played for clubs including Arsenal, West Ham United and Stoke City over the course of his 18-year career, is yet to feature for the Foxes after joining the club this summer.

The former England international suffered a foot injury shortly after signing on a free transfer from Brighton & Hove Albion, and was expected to miss at least three months.

Pearson, however, insists Upson is ahead of schedule but refused to give a definite answer on his return.

“Matt is a long-term injury but he is making good progress so, hopefully, he will be ready a bit earlier than we thought,” the Leicester Mercury quotes him as saying.

“I am not going to put any pressure on him by going public on timescales on that one. We will see how it develops."

Pearson have received a blow, however, as 28-year-old defender Zoumana Bagayoko has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament. The Frenchman was making his return to football after missing eight months with the same injury, which he suffered while on loan at Yeovil Town.

The Foxes are flying high currently after their stunning 5-3 victory over Manchester United last weekend.

Despite his side's success against the Red Devils, Pearson refused to confirm that he would field an unchanged team for the match against Crystal Palace this weekend.

“It’s always a case of picking the side to win any particular game,” he said. “Every game presents a slightly different scenario.

“We changed personnel but also our shape last week because we thought that was the best way to deal with our opponents on the day. You will have to wait and see tomorrow.”

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