Chelsea’s fitness problems from the end of last season still linger, and some of the mistakes made while managing a few specific cases (Emerson and Kante, for example) have not helped. But, we are slowly reducing the number of frequent visitors to the medical department, although they remain quite busy.
In his quest to get back on the winning track in the Premier League, Frank Lampard will be missing a couple of key first-team veterans this weekend. Defenders Antonio Rüdiger and Emerson Palmieri are still out, with the latter set to return only after the international break. The same is probably true for Rudiger, given the nature of groin and other such muscle strains.
“Toni has got a recurring injury in his groin area, not the original knee injury. We are trying to find a solution because he has still got some pain. We’re hopeful it won’t be long but I haven’t got an end date for you. It’s an injury that is ongoing.”
“Emerson now is going to be the other side of the international break with a hamstring injury.”
On the positive side of things, we should see the return of striker Olivier Giroud from illness, and defender Andreas Christensen from a knock on the back of his knee. They might not be at 100 per cent capacity just yet, but they should be good enough to be available for squad selection tomorrow.
“It’s been a difficult week for [Olivier] because it was a strong illness that left him pretty weak. He’s been getting a bit of strength back this week and it’ll be touch and go to see if he is involved tomorrow.”
“Andreas should be okay. He trained with us today. He has missed most of the week. He still has a tiny bit of pain but it’s hopefully not a risk. He will be in the squad.”
And on the longer outlook, midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is continuing to make progress on his recovery from the Achilles rupture. While there is no date set on his return just yet, he should be getting closer to his return as the days go by.
“Ruben we can’t give a date, but he’s outside jogging slowly. That’s a positive move for this week, it’s good to see him outside. We will see how that goes over the next weeks.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Loftus-Cheek has been out since May, but there’s hope that he will get to play again before the end of the calendar year.
But first, Brighton on Saturday. The objective this weekend is to finally add a home league win to Lampard’s managerial record. But while Chelsea have a 100 per cent record against Brighton since February 1967, we must not let our guard down.
“The fact we haven’t won at home is something we want to correct. We need a similar performance to Liverpool. If we get that level then I expect we can do okay. We have had a run of home games, but we have to respect Brighton.”
-Frank Lampard; Source: Football.London
So say we all.