Adding the literal injury to insult, Cesar Azpilicueta was forced off with an apparent lower leg injury on Tuesday.
That Chelsea fell apart soon after Michael Essien was introduced as the replacement is probably not a coincidence. After being largely overlooked at the beginning of the season, Azpilicueta has worked his way into Mourinho's starting lineups, settling quickly and impressively into his brand new left back role (much to the chagrin of Ashley "Who you calling done? Oh, me... I get it." Cole and Ryan "last seen on a milk carton" Bertrand).
We were all expecting great things when his name popped up in its natural position on the right flank against Sunderland, and he didn't disappoint in setting up Chelsea's lone goal of the day with a wonderful cross while keeping Emanuele Giaccherini mostly quiet. He probably would've stuck to his task all the way to the end of regulation, but alas it was not meant to be.
Having gone down for treatment just after the hour mark, he tried to soldier on for a good five-six minutes before calling it quits in the 70th minute. He was clearly in pain and we feared the worst. Fortunately, as reported by Chelsea TV's Blues News, he took full part in training Thursday afternoon and won't miss any time due to the injury. With Branislav Ivanovic surely set to return as the right back against Arsenal, Azpilicueta will thus probably be back as the first choice left back then.
On a sidenote, Chelsea TV's video also shows quick glimpses of Kenneth Omeruo and Tomas Kalas involved in training with the first team. So maybe next time we need a backup right back, we won't make the mistake of going with Essien again.