Chelsea injury news and expected return dates ahead of Man United clash: James, Rudiger, Kovacic

Chelsea injury news and expected return dates ahead of Man United clash: James, Rudiger, Kovacic

Chelsea left it very late on Sunday afternoon to secure all three points against West Ham United at Stamford Bridge. Christian Pulisic slotted the ball into the back of the net in the closing stages of the Premier League clash, just minutes after Jorginho missed from the penalty spot.

The win for the Blues has now lifted them five points above Arsenal, who occupy fourth-place, and seven ahead of Tottenham down in fifth. With six matches remaining of the Premier League season, Chelsea are in a very strong position to finish in the top four.

The remaining games are still very important, though, with Manchester United next on the horizon. With that said, football.london rounds up the very latest Chelsea-related injury news ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.

Reece James

James was left out of the Chelsea side that beat West Ham on Sunday. Tuchel confirmed before the match that the England international was sidelined due to a recurring injury problem.

“It isn’t a new injury or a recurrence of an old injury,” the Blues head coach confirmed. “We checked the medical images, and there is absolutely nothing, but he didn’t feel totally comfortable.

“He felt like something could happen if he took that risk, and we absolutely do not want to have a re-injury, so we have taken the safe route and left him out. Not having Reece is a big loss because of his individual quality and what he brings to the team. It’s a shame not to have him with us today.”

Expected return date: Manchester United (A) – Thursday, April 28

Andreas Christensen

Tuchel confirmed before the match against West Ham that Christensen was struggling with stomach cramps, and that was the reason behind his absence. The Dane hasn’t been in great form for Chelsea recently but could return to the squad for Thursday’s trip to Manchester.

Expected return date: Manchester United (A) – Thursday, April 28

Antonio Rudiger

Some good news on the Rudiger front. The defender, who is set to leave the club at the end of the season, could return to training with his Chelsea teammates on Tuesday ahead of the trip to Manchester United on Thursday. “The plan is for him to return on Tuesday for Thursday,” Tuchel said after the win over West Ham.

Expected return date: Manchester United (A) – Thursday, April 28

Mateo Kovacic

The Croatian midfielder started against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-final but was withdrawn less than 30 minutes into the contest after picking up an ankle problem. Like Rudiger, he missed out against West Ham.

Expected return: Everton (A) – Sunday, May 1

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Hudson-Odoi has struggled with a troublesome Achilles issue, restricting the 21-year-old’s involvement of late. No risks have been taken with the academy graduate who remains out, and his return date is still unknown.

What Tuchel has said: “With Callum, it’s day by day but not possible to join team training.”

Expected return: Unknown

Ben Chilwell

Chilwell suffered a cruciate ligament injury in November that is set to keep him out for the rest of the season. Tuchel has suggested that he could make his return to training before the end of the campaign, but a return to first-team action appears unlikely.He has been photographed outside on the training ground pitch doing light work, which positively affects his recovery.

What Tuchel has said: “Ben will be able to join in team training with the youth, this will be his next step in the weeks, and hopefully, he can join our training at the end of the season.”

Expected return: Summer 2022

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