Thomas Tuchel has provided a mixed injury update ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Newcastle in the Premier League this weekend.
Chelsea will once again be without the services of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner for the trip to St James’ Park, the forward duo having sustained injuries during the European champion’s Champions League win over Malmo earlier this month.
Tuchel did deliver a more positive update on Christian Pulisic, however, who has returned to training after making just one league appearance so far this season.
The US international will not be available this weekend as he recovers from an ankle problem, but Tuchel confirmed Pulisic is closing in on a first-team return.
“We have some better news than ahead of Southampton,” Tuchel revealed at his pre-match press conference. “Timo and Romelu are still out because of their injuries.
“Christian Pulisic did join the last two training sessions but it’s early given the time he missed.
“Everybody else is available. Azpi, Ruben and N’Golo were back on the pitch so they will be with the team tomorrow and ready to play.’
“I’m not a friend of deadlines and putting pressure on expectations but I can tell you that it’s realistic that both of them have a new target and that is after the international break,” he added. “This is what we aim for and what they aim for.
“Christian is looking forward to the Burnley match. If everything goes right, he should be in the squad then and ready to play.”
Chelsea have also been dealt a blow after Mateo Kovacic sustained a hamstring injury in training, with the Croatia international expected to be absent until after next month’s international break.
“We had some very sad news yesterday because he injured himself in the very last minute of training,” he said.
“It’s a hamstring injury and he will be out for some weeks. Hopefully after the international break he can be back here.”