Claude Puel fears Wilfred Ndidi’s latest suspension will leave a noticeable gap in the centre of Leicester’s midfield.
The Foxes won 2-0 at Brighton on Saturday but the victory came at a cost as Ndidi was dismissed for a second bookable offence three minutes from time.
He is set to serve a two-match suspension following his second red card of the season, while the ban could yet be increased because of his initial refusal to leave the field.
Manager Puel, who thought Ndidi’s second yellow card – shown for a challenge on Brighton defender Shane Duffy – was harsh, said: “He is a very important player for us.
“He will get possession in a lot of balls and prevents the opponent from making contact.
“He’s been fantastic since the beginning of the season.
“To lose him just in this moment of the season is harsh for us because as a team we do not have a lot of players with the same attributes.
“We will try and find a solution, a collective response about this sending-off.”
Late goals from Vicente Iborra and Jamie Vardy, either side of Ndidi’s dismissal, masked a poor performance from the Foxes as they boosted their Europa League aspirations on the south coast.