Danny Drinkwater, fabled midfielder of the fourth kind, has been spotted this week at Cobham, which is a good sign. Less good is the fact that he’s only training on his own, doing bits of fitness work and whatnot, and that no one seems to really know when he might be back ... or at least they’re not telling.
Those pictures are from the weekend, but there’s been no major improvement since Drinkwater was not involved in the open training on Tuesday.
Conte did confirm in the pre-match press conference that Danny won’t be playing today, and judging by the general understandings, with Conte urging “patience”, probably won’t play on the weekend either. In fact, if the Express are to be believed, he could be facing up three more weeks out with his calf injury, which would essentially rule him out until after the November international break. That’s another month on the sidelines for the desperately needed deadline-day signing, who’s so far done a very Loïc Rémy-esque job of being a backup who’s always injured especially when he’s needed. He’s made the bench one time for Chelsea, in between a thigh and now a calf injury.
That of course is a bit harsh on the guy; he’s undoubtedly as frustrated as we are that after spending months looking for a proper depth signing, then spending over the odds to get one on deadline day, we are still short on numbers because of injuries. Taking 2.5 months to get Drinkwater fit and ready was definitely not part of the plan.
Hopefully the Express are wrong and we’ll see the 27-year-old back in action soon; perhaps against Everton in the League Cup next week? That would be ideal.