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Chelsea explain Ruben Loftus-Cheek's absence from the loss to West Ham United in the EFL Cup

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Warren Little/Getty Images

There's of course no guarantees that Ruben Loftus-Cheek would've played in Wednesday night's 2-1 loss to West Ham United in the League Cup, but having started in both of the previous two rounds of the competition, it was expected that he would be out there once again.  So it was a bit of surprise when his name was missing not only from the starting eleven, but from the 18-man matchday squad as well.

As it turns out, he's picked up some sort of back injury.

There's a couple easy, spineless jokes to be made here, but back injuries can be naggingly annoying and tough to completely recover from without extensive rest.  So hopefully it's truly just a minor ailment for Loftus-Cheek, though with Chelsea now out of the League Cup, opportunities for him and other youngsters like Ola Aina may be tougher to find (the FA Cup doesn't start until January).