Team news: Chelsea boss confirms injury boost but trio ruled out of Newcastle game
Frank Lampard has confirmed an injury boost ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Newcastle but three others have been ruled out of the game.
Premier League football returns this weekend after the international break as Chelsea welcome Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
Ahead of the game, Frank Lampard has provided a team news and injury update including the latest on the fitness of Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger.
Kovacic was forced off with a thigh problem during Croatia’s clash with Wales last weekend but Lampard has confirmed the injury isn’t serious and the midfielder is available for selection this weekend after taking part in training the last couple of days.
However, there isn’t such positive news on N’Golo Kante as he’s been ruled out of Chelsea’s game with Newcastle tomorrow after suffering a groin injury during the warm-up ahead of France’s win over Iceland last Friday.
In a further blow for Chelsea, Lampard also confirmed that Christensen has been ruled out for a couple of weeks after picking up a hamstring injury during Denmark’s 1-0 win over Switzerland last weekend.
Rudiger has struggled for fitness in recent weeks due to groin and knee injuries but the German defender is closing in on making his comeback after returning to training this week.
However, Lampard says Rudiger still has a lot of work to do to build up his match fitness before he’ll be available for selection again so the centre-back won’t be in contention to face Newcastle.
Lampard told Chelseafc.com:
‘No, N’Golo is not fit. He had a small groin issue in the warm-up to the first international game for France, we didn’t get him back until after the second game and he’s not fit for Saturday.’
‘Kovacic had a knock on his thigh but has trained the last couple of days so he’s in contention and Ross is also fit, but Christensen has a hamstring injury which will see him out for probably the next two weeks.
‘Rudiger is training outside with the physios which is a progression for him. He had a tough injury with some stop-start aspects to it which has been unfortunate for everybody but he’s outside now, which is positive. There’s a bit of work to be done for him to get match fitness but it’s really positive for us that he’s back outside.’
Elsewhere, Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been stepping-up his recovery from an Achilles injury but isn’t available just yet while Emerson Palmieri and Reece James could return to the squad tomorrow after overcoming thigh and ankle problems respectively.
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