Chelsea take on Fulham in the Premier League on Saturday and Thomas Tuchel will be without Mateo Kovacic and Antonio Rudiger for this game.
Mateo Kovacic has been on the sidelines for a few games now but the midfielder was expected to return to action this weekend. But speaking to the press, the Chelsea manager has now admitted that he has suffered another small setback in training and is not likely to be back anytime this week.
Antonio Rudiger has been one of the constant figures in central defence for Chelsea under their new boss but the German international suffered a knock during the first leg vs Real Madrid.
‘Unfortunately he’s[Mateo Kovacic] still injured,’ said Tuchel in his pre-match press conference.
‘He trained with us but he’s still not fully confident. He felt something at the end of the training so he’s not available.
‘Before training today, we thought Kova has a big chance to join us latest for Madrid, maybe even for Fulham, so now we have a little setback with him. I don’t want to be too negative. Let’s see how he feels tomorrow.
‘All other players are available except for Toni Rudiger who got injured in the last minute of the Madrid game. I am quite positive for Toni [being available] for Wednesday.’
Mateo Kovacic and Rudiger will both not be missed against Fulham since Tuchel has ample backup in his first-team squad.
Someone like Mason Mount will hopefully move into midfield if the manager intends to rest N’Golo Kante before the second leg against Real Madrid. And as far as Rudiger is concerned, the centre-back will be replaced by Kurt Zouma on the left-hand side of the three-man back line.