By Ben Dinnery

5th Nov, 2021 | 7:00am

Dinnery issues verdict on '£60m' Justin development at Leicester

Leicester City defender James Justin is not far from being passed fit to play – but he may not reach his pre-injury standards until “2022”.

So says injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in medicine and data analysis.

Justin has been out of action after suffering a knee ligament tear in February but is now back in non-contact training.

As quoted by Leicestershire Live on 1 November, Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers revealed: “It’s like signing a £50-60million player.”

The 23-year-old made his breakthrough in 2020-21 and was in the form of his life before he was struck down.

Dinnery predicted that Justin could soon return to action but will be unlikely to instantly recapture his pre-injury form.

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“I think, realistically, we could be looking at first-team contention in mid to late December,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

“If you consider that players need four to six weeks in pre-season to get up to the level where they’re ready to compete, we can use those same judgements.

“Maybe towards the end of this month, we could see James Justin play for the under-23s.

“A lot depends on the player and how he’s feeling when he is progressing through those sessions.

“You want to make sure there are no slight niggles, reactions or swelling when you’re completing the programme.

“You want to maintain a full range of movement. That way you know you can push on.

“But being ready for the first-team and being ready to perform well isn’t necessarily the same thing.

“We’re maybe looking at 2022 before we start to see Justin anywhere near his pre-injury levels.”

In other news, ex-Premier League referee claims Jonny Evans “100 per cent” should land extended ban after Leicester City footage emerges.