Just as Chelsea’s treatment room was about to clear out a bit, it’s starting to fill up again. Joining N’Golo Kanté as a recent intake is Pedro Rodriguez, who by virtue of being the only healthy winger other than Christian Pulisic, had started all three of Chelsea’s games before last weekend. He was set to start against Norwich City as well, but pulled up with a hamstring problem just minutes before kick-off and was thus hurriedly replaced by Ross Barkley in the starting lineup (dropping into midfield with Mason Mount moving up to play on the wing).
Like Kanté, Pedro’s not expected to be fit again until after the two-week international break, which will start after this weekend’s match against Sheffield United, revealed head coach Frank Lampard in his post-match comments.
“Pedro picked up a hamstring injury and we will assess the severity of it over the next couple of days, but I think it will be tough for him to be back for next week at first glance. We obviously then have the international break, so that might help, but we will be trying to get him back as quickly as possible because he’s an important player.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
FIFA’s mandated international breaks are hardly ever welcome, but this one comes at a pretty good time. No fewer than five players are expected to be making their returns from various injuries once we reconvene, including Antonio Rüdiger, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James, and the aforementioned pair of Kanté and Pedro. While not all of them may be ready to fully contribute just yet, we will need all the depth we can get as we start in on the meaty part of the season’s fixture list.