The Super Eagles player participated in the Foxes’ preseason victory over Derby County, his first game since March, for 60 minutes.

Wilfred Ndidi of Nigeria, a midfielder, played his first game in four months on Saturday during Leicester City’s 3-1 preseason victory over Derby County of the League One.

Ndidi began and oversaw the first 60 minutes of the game, which Brendan Rogers’ team won thanks to goals from Englishman Callum Wright, Zambian Patson Daka, and Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho.

Iheanacho scored his first preseason goal after the first half ended scoreless. Derby’s Tom Barkhuizen then equalized 10 minutes later, but Daka then scored for the third time in the preseason before Wright made it three.

As part of Rodgers’ 3-5-2 formation, Ndidi began the game in a three-man midfield with Youri Tielemans and Luke Thomas. After an hour, he was replaced by Nampalys Mendy from Senegal.

The Nigerian has been sidelined since March 10, when he hobbled off during Leicester’s 2-1 Europa Conference League round of 16 second leg loss to Rennes, with testing showing he had sustained a knee injury.

The injury caused him to miss the remainder of the campaign, and the Foxes felt the full impact of his absence as they battled to establish themselves in the middle of the field and ultimately missed out on playing in Europe after finishing eighth, having placed fifth in 2020–21.

Ndidi also missed Nigeria’s pivotal World Cup playoff match against Ghana in March, which the Black Stars won on away goals to remove the Super Eagles from the competition after a scoreless draw in Kumasi and a 1-1 tie in Abuja.

The 25-year-old was also ineligible for Nigeria’s two friendlies losses to Mexico and Ecuador in the United States in May, as well as the Super Eagles’ victories over Sierra Leone at home and Sao Tome and Principe on the road in June’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

 

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