Chelsea have spent the better part of the last 12 months dealing with a series and a volume of injuries that would test even the deepest squads, and that continues as we head to Dean Court to face Bournemouth tomorrow and resume our quest to finish top-four after the reality check of midweek.
Our current fitness woes include multi-week/-month injuries to Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kanté, and slightly less serious but thus perhaps even more annoying injuries to Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi. All four have been ruled out for this weekend, as head coach Frank Lampard revealed in his press conference earlier today.
“Pulisic is still injured and Kanté is still injured.
“Abraham is injured with the same problem as before. We’re trying to find a solution with him. It’s frustrating that he has come in and out somewhat but he’s injured for tomorrow. Callum is another one who isn’t fit this weekend.”
Pulisic’s issue is most troubling. His groin injury was expected to keep him out for just a few weeks around the turn of the year. Now he’s going on two months. Groin injuries are notoriously stubborn like that and Lampard, who hardly missed any time as a player, had the same injury once as well, so he understands how these things can drag along — though that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
“The projected time out was a lot less than what it’s turned out to be. I had a similar injury myself as a player and was out for three months, the worst injury I had so I can certainly sympathise and speak with him about the detail of the injury because it’s not an easy one.
“I actually re-injured it trying to be too keen to come back so I know it’s a delicate injury. I expected him back quicker but knowing the injury I can see that it’s a difficult one.”
In better news, Ruben Loftus-Cheek will once again be part of the squad, just as he was last weekend. Unlike last weekend, maybe he will even get to make his season debut this time? Lampard had left him out against Bayern in order to give him more training time precisely with a view towards that.
“Ruben is in the squad again for tomorrow. We haven’t had great opportunity to get Ruben as much game time as much as we want. I felt against Tottenham he could be an impact of some sort in the game but Bayern was a different animal of a game so I took a different decision for him to get some good training in during the week.
“It would mean a lot to have him back. It’s a lonely place being out for that long. He was in a very good run of form last year. I thought he was playing really well and you could see his development and confidence of getting in the first team.
“He hasn’t kicked a ball for me but with the ability he’s got, he’s one of the most exciting English midfield players in the Premier League because of the attributes he has so we all want him back.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
So say we all.