With seven minutes to go in the first half, Maurizio Sarri was gesturing to Ruben Loftus-Cheek to hold on until the break in our clash against Nottingham Forest for the FA Cup this Saturday.
Three minutes later, a tearful RLC was off the pitch and heading down the tunnel after what appears to be a recurrence of his chronic back injury.
Hazard coming on, looks like Loftus-Cheek has a back issue flaring back up. Not ideal. #CFC #FACup— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) January 5, 2019
Eden Hazard came on to finish off the half.
Sarri had said after the midweek draw with Southampton that Loftus-Cheek’s back had been acting up. Today confirms that it’s become a serious issue once again. And it raises concerns that the thing that will ultimately hold him back from becoming an everyday starter is his history of going down with a variety of knocks and ailments.
For Chelsea, the injury crisis is now at red alarm stage. With Pedro, Willian and now RLC injured, Sarri may even be forced to use the forgotten Victor Moses. If there’s a bright side to the problem, maybe it will be more playing time for Callum Hudson-Odoi, who had a good first half against Forest and has piqued the interest of Bayern Munich.