Puel was unable to bring clarity to a number of details, with Mahrez's absence set to continue past a second weekend.
"I hope he can come back and work hard with the team sooner rather than later. Of course, we will see," Puel said.
Leicester sources stress that keeping such information confidential is to adhere to employment law but the uncertainty only adds fuel to suspicions from well-placed sources that Mahrez is AWOL.
Mahrez is said to be very low after the collapse of his transfer to City and the situation is being handled delicately by Leicester, who are raising the prospect he has been granted leave.