Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Chelsea facing defensive injury crisis ahead of Newcastle

Chelsea are facing something of a defensive injury crisis ahead of Saturday's match against Newcastle, with Andreas Christensen and Emerson Palmieri doubtful for the Premier League clash.

Christensen was one of a number of Blues stars to pick up injuries during the current international break, with the Denmark international struggling with a hamstring problem.

Emerson, meanwhile, has been out since September with a hamstring problem, and though Chelsea are not ruling out a comeback for the ex-Roma full-back, he faces a race against time to prove his fitness for the visit of the Magpies.

Reece James, N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic also suffered fitness issues while representing their national sides, though Frank Lampard's staff are working hard to ensure all three are ready for when domestic action returns.

James is hopeful of being involved in training this week after he suffered a reoccurence of an ankle injury he picked up over the summer while with the England Under-21s.

Kante, meanwhile, tweaked a muscle while warming-up for France ahead of their Euro 2020 qualifying win over Iceland, and sat out the clash in Scandinavia.

The World Cup-winner was named on the bench for Monday's draw with Turkey, however, and he will continue to be monitored upon his return to west London.

Kovacic's chances of appearing against Steve Bruce's side are less clear after he limped out of Croatia's clash with Wales following a collision with Tottenham defender Ben Davies.

Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic described Kovacic's injury as both a knock and a knee twist after the match, and the former Real Madrid midfielder will now undergo checks on his fitness status.

In more positive news, Antonio Rudiger is being readied for a return to first-team action after a truncated start to the season for the Germany international.
Antonio Rudiger Chelsea 2018-19
Having missed the opening month of the campaign while recovering from a knee injury he suffered in April, Rudiger made his return to first-team action against Wolves in September.
He suffered a groin injury at Molineux, however, and has been on the sidelines since as he looks to get back to full fitness.

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