On Sunday night, Chelsea will restart our bid to cement a top-four finish in the Premier League this season, with an away game against Aston Villa. It’ll be the first of nine matches remaining.
As usual, head coach Frank Lampard addressed the media ahead of the match. With strict COVID-19 rules followed under Project Restart, he did so via a Zoom call on his laptop while the journalists asked him questions from the other side of the screen.
As always the manager provided injury updates ahead of the game. The bad news is that Fikayo Tomori has picked up an injury during training, and has thus joined Callum Hudson-Odoi on the sidelines.
“Fikayo Tomori has a muscle injury, probably from the stresses of trying to get fit quickly. He has an injury that will probably keep him out for 10 days or so.
“Callum Hudson-Odoi had a small injury earlier in the training process, and he’s not match fit, albeit he’s physically fit now.”
But there’s plenty of good news regarding injuries, too, including on Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who last kicked a ball in anger over 13 months ago. Having used the three-month lockdown to finish his recovery from the torn Achilles, Ruben could be our ace in the hole going into final stretch of the season, if he is (and can stay) fit.
While Lampard is obviously encouraged by all this, he’s being cautious in ramping up RLC’s involvement after such a long time out of competitive action.
“He is looking fit. He’s taken part in our training games. He’s worked really hard, Ruben, to get back. It was a very difficult injury he had and we’ve really missed him this season. He has got himself into a position where he’s fit, but we obviously haven’t had enough matches really for him, so he will have to be managed definitely in terms of the minutes he plays to not overstrain, but he’s looking good for this game.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Here's to the squad remaining fit for the rest of the season.