According to The Athletic’s Simon Johnson, a trio of Chelsea players are likely to miss the match at Newcastle on Saturday. Considering the glut of games coming up (13 in the next 43 days), caution will be taken with each of them.
Kai Havertz, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 two weeks ago and had shown some mild symptoms, has been given the green light to resume training. However, and immediate return to match action will likely not happen, given that he had been instructed to conduct just “limited exercise” at home — giving him plenty of time to play with his ADORABLE puppy.
Sounds like Havertz’s targeting a return to match action next Tuesday in the Champions League against Rennes, or the weekend after against Tottenham on the 29th.
Meanwhile, Christian Pulisic has been sidelined with strained hamstring since the end of October, having to be taken out of the starting lineup just minutes before kick-off against Burnley. He’s apparently still recovering from this setback, and is expected to be out of the lineup for at least “another week or two” (ed.note: once again, with emotion, there are no “small” hamstring injuries).
The third player expected to miss the Newcastle match is Thiago Silva, whose return to London from international duty with Brazil apparently will not happen until Thursday. After the October break, Thiago Silva was left out of the lineup against Southampton in a similar situation (and Chelsea would go on to concede three times).
On a better note, Chelsea are “optimistic” on Ben Chilwell’s back spasm/injury, while Billy Gilmour is set for an EFL Trophy rehab start for the U23s against Bristol Rovers today.