Brendan Rodgers admits Leicester have to plan for life without Jamie Vardy.
The striker turned 34 last week and has been nursing a persistent hip problem.
He will be fit for Tuesday’s visit of Chelsea after coming off late on in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Southampton.
Despite his long-standing hip issue Vardy has still scored 13 times in 19 games this season although Rodgers admitted, like with any player, the club must plan for the future.
He said: “Of course, the backdrop is the club always has to be looking forward and planning forward, not just in Jamie’s position but in every position – it’s something which is an on-going process with every player.
“My job is to maximise the best we can get out of Jamie while he’s here and in my time here hopefully we have shown he is developing and continuing to develop. At that age you can still develop and improve on and off the pitch and he’s consistently showed that to me.”
Vardy has helped fire the Foxes to third in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Manchester United.
They have lost just once in their last 10 games in all competitions but Rodgers is happy for his men to go under the radar in the title race.
He said: “I understand we have been competitive for a long period of time. There’s a natural loop towards what would be deemed the big six clubs. I understand that.
“It’s something which has always happened and will continue to happen. I never worry about that, it’s about developing us as a team and a club.
“There is always a look towards those bigger clubs and I understand that.
“You only have to look at the teams around us, I know we disappointed people when we stopped the first v second game (United’s trip to Liverpool) by winning against Southampton.
“We’re very satisfied, the players have been outstanding in their application and their work.
“It’s something we always reiterate, you have to retain that hunger and desire which is very important when you want to be constantly in the top echelons of the league.
“There are a lot of big teams up there but our guys are competing and that’s all I can ask.
“We are nearly at the half-way stage which tells you everything. You don’t get too carried away, there are still so many games to go.
“Whatever form you are in, it doesn’t matter, you have to have the hunger and desire. It’s what my players show every single day.”
Dennis Praet remains out for another three months with a thigh injury while Nampalys Mendy (neck) will be assessed.