César Azpilicueta became the latest injury victim at Chelsea in last night’s 1-0 defeat at St James’ Park, picking up a calf problem not long after Ruben Loftus-Cheek did so as well. Azpi was able to finish out the half, but he would not reappear after the break, with Chelsea also switching the system soon after rather than having Conor Gallagher deputize at right wing-back.
After the game, head coach Graham Potter confirmed the injury, adding that he was unsure what that would mean for Azpilicueta’s World Cup participation — which had been announced barely 24 hours prior!
“He was feeling his calf. I’m not sure where it leaves him with Spain. I don’t think it was too bad but nevertheless not well enough to carry on.”
-Graham Potter; source: Chelsea FC
Subsequent reporting has been a bit more positive, with Diario AS, for example, claiming that the injury thankfully “is not serious” and that Azpi “will be able to travel normally” with the rest of the squad to Qatar.
Hopefully in six weeks, when we resume the season, injuries will be a thing of the past and we can show our true mettle.