Romelu Lukaku, Christian Pulisic, N’Golo Kante – latest Chelsea injury news and return dates


Chelsea picked up a much-needed three points on Saturday against Southampton, a win that followed back-to-back defeats in the Premier League and Champions League.

It means that Thomas Tuchel heads into the international break with his troops topping the top-flight table and he will be eager to cement that position when they return in two weeks’ time.

Trevoh Chalobah, Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell were all on target against the Saints as Chelsea won 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, the latter pair heading off on international duty with Germany and England, respectively.

The Three Lions face World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary as they continue to attempt to put the pain of the Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy behind them.

Tuchel had plenty of fitness issues to contend with against Southampton, with Reece James, N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic all missing out with various ailments.

The German will be crossing his fingers that those issues are sorted by the time the Premier League resumes and the trip to Brentford.

For now, we take a look at the state of those previous fitness issues and any other problems that have arisen.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku has withdrawn from the Belgium international squad following an injury.

The frontman was due to play in the Nations League third and fourth play-off against Italy today, but has had to leave the squad due to a muscle fatigue.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez addressed the issue in his pre-match press conference, and stated that he is suffering from a similar issue to former Blues fan favourite, Eden Hazard.

Romelu Lukaku is suffering from muscle fatigue, same as Eden Hazard,” he said.

“They’re not in best conditions to play. They’re leaving the national team camp due to these problems – I don’t know how long it will take.”

N’Golo Kante

Kante missed both the loss to Juventus and the win against Southampton after testing positive for Covid-19.

“N’Golo has symptoms but not a lot of symptoms, so he’s okay,” Tuchel said in his latest midfielder update.

“I don’t want to go into more details. He’s okay. He’s doing well.

“He was concerned about it [in the past], and he did everything not to get it. Unfortunately, he tested positive but we care about him, like we care about every player. We’re in touch with him every single day. The doctors are in touch with him and he has our advice and our support, and he is in a good way.”

However, it appears that the midfielder is back to health and Tuchel will no doubt be happy the player will not be jetting off with France over the next couple of weeks.



N'Golo Kante during Chelsea's clash against Manchester City
N’Golo Kante during Chelsea’s clash against Manchester City

The 30-year-old was pictured in training with his manager and now has time to get back to match sharpness.

Consequently, the former Caen midfielder missed the dramatic 3-2 win for his home country against Belgium in the Nations League semi-final.

Didier Deschamps opted for a midfield two of Man United’s Paul Pogba and Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot at the expense of the two-time Premier League winner.

The good news for Kante during this international break is that he, alongside five of his Chelsea teammates, was shortlisted on the 30-man Ballon d’Or nominations list.

Reece James

James was surprisingly called up by Gareth Southgate shortly after limping off the pitch against Manchester City with an ankle injury.

Tuchel expressed his surprise at the call-up after the news broke and James did eventually pull out of Southgate’s squad to be replaced by club teammate Ben Chilwell and will remain at Cobham to work on his fitness.

It is unlikely the right-back will be involved in full training but there remains a chance that he will return in time to face Brentford.

Christian Pulisic

Much like James, Pulisic will be looking to regain full fitness while his colleagues fly around the world to play international football.

Pulisic is a mainstay in the United States national team but will not be flying across the Atlantic after suffering an ankle injury during the last international break.

“Do we miss Christian Pulisic? Of course we do, his sprints and intensity,” Tuchel said prior to the Southampton match.

The latest on the former Borussia Dortmund man is that the fitness and medical department back at Cobham are reportedly trying their best to up the ante when it comes to stepping up his rehabilitation programme.

It is unknown the exact date that as to when the 23-year-old is expected to don the blue and yellow jersey of the European Champions once again.

Thiago Silva

Don’t worry, the Brazilian colossus is not injured, but his call up to the national team does mean he will likely miss the clash with Brentford.

South American sides are having to play a higher number of games in the build-up to the 2022 World Cup, meaning the 36-year-old will not return until the morning of the west London derby.

Silva will face Venezuela, Colombia and Uruguay in World Cup qualifiers and Tuchel will be watching on through his fingers and praying the defender does not pick up an injury.





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