Monday, January 30, 2023

Chelsea injury update ahead of Bournemouth clash with nine players doubtful

Chelsea injury update ahead of Bournemouth clash with nine players doubtful

Domestic action returns to Stamford Bridge just after Christmas, when Chelsea return to Premier League play.

The Blues were able to observe the resumption of the Carabao Cup this week, just two days after the conclusion of the World Cup, which they were able to do as the competition resumed.

After being eliminated by Manchester City in November, Chelsea played no part in this. However, they have been playing, preparing for the December 27 meeting against Bournemouth with friendlies against Aston Villa and Brentford.

Graham Potter’s side fell 1-0 to Villa in Abu Dhabi with a young squad because the first team was still in Qatar or returning from the tournament. However, they performed better against the Bees, defeating them 5-1 behind closed doors with Kai Havertz scoring a hat trick.

As a result of injuries sustained by first-team players in both matches, Potter’s pre-game preparations were further complicated.

The current injury report from the Chelsea camp is as follows:

Wesley Fofana

Fofana, the most recent Chelsea player to sustain an injury, left this week’s match against Brentford gripping his knee after being sidelined since October with a knee injury.

What Potter said: “ Wesley [Fofana] just had a little setback which can sometimes happen at the very last stage of the rehab. It will be a couple of weeks so he won’t be available for the game.”

Expected return date: Unknown

Armando Broja

Broja was another unfortunate casualty of the exhibition matches, when an ACL injury versus Aston Villa ruined his season. The knee of the 21-year-old has since undergone surgery.

What Potter said: “Armando [Broja] is a big loss in terms of the time he is out.”

Expected return date: Unknown (next season)

Reece James

James is finally able to play again after being sidelined since October with a knee injury. James had hoped to fly to the World Cup with England, but he was left out.

What Potter said: “Reece [James] is back in and completed 65 minutes in the week.”

Expected return date: Bournemouth (H), December 27.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

 Loftus-Cheek was sidelined during the warm-weather training camp and required treatment for a knock. The Englishman will also be unavailable against Bournemouth, although the extent and nature of his injury are unknown.

What Potter said: “Still without Ruben [Loftus-Cheek].”

Expected return date: Nottingham Forest (A), January 1.

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Chelsea’s new No. 1 appears to be back in action after missing the final round of matches due to a foot injury sustained when trailing Brighton 3-0 at halftime.

What Potter said: (Before Dinamo Zagreb) “Kepa won’t be available for the game. He has a slight issue with his plantar fascia.”

Expected return date: Bournemouth (H), December 27.

N’Golo Kante

Since suffering a hamstring injury in the second game of the season, Kante has not played a single minute. He has undergone surgery, but he will be out of play for an extended amount of time.

What Potter said: “He’s a while. He’ll be end of February, start of March.”

Expected return date: Unknown

Mateo Kovacic

The Croatian is unavailable since he has not yet returned from Qatar after his team’s run to the semifinals and subsequent appearance in the third-place match.

Before the break, he had suffered with fitness and weariness, but he played more minutes during the World Cup than he had for Chelsea.

What Potter said: “We’re still waiting on Hakim [Ziyech] and Mateo [Kovacic]. Obviously they went the distance to the third and fourth place and played the games as well. Big demand for those two, important to give them time, they won’t be available for the game as a consequence. Everybody else has been back, we’ve got a few days training with all of them, so, it is what it is. We have to deal with it and it’s been good.

Expected return date: Nottingham Forest (A), January 1.

Ben Chilwell

Chilwell is another long-term absentee, having also been left out of the England squad owing to a late Champions League injury. His hamstring injury will likely keep him out for at least four more weeks, and possibly much longer.

What Potter said: N/A

Expected return date: Unknown

Edouard Mendy

According to the management, Mendy returned from Qatar without a known injury but has only been training for a few days. He missed international service in October owing to a knee injury, but has since played for Chelsea, filling in for Kepa before to the international break.

What Potter said: “[Edouard] Mendy has had a couple of days training with us.”

Expected return date: Bournemouth (H), December 27.

Chelsea injury update ahead of Bournemouth clash with nine players doubtful

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