Chelsea injury news and likely return dates as the Blues gear up for the trip to the north east after the international break
Chelsea will go top of the Premier League, if only for a short while, with a win at Newcastle on Saturday.
Fifth-placed Chelsea will draw level with table-topping Leicester City if they beat Steve Bruce’s side in the 12.30pm kick-off, but Brendan Rodgers’ side, Spurs, Liverpool, and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton could all leapfrog them again later this weekend.
However, a loss for Frank Lampard’s outfit would see Newcastle rise to within one point of the Blues in this increasingly competitive Premier League campaign.
Chelsea, like many other clubs, are anxiously waiting for the safe return of their players who are out on international duty at present.
But some have not been so fortunate, as a handful are still on the sidelines recovering from injuries.
So, here is a round-up of the latest Chelsea injury news ahead of the game at St James’ Park.
The defender went off injured while playing for England against Belgium in Leuven on Sunday night.
Chilwell had to limp off in the 38th minute of the Nations League game with a back injury.
After the 2-0 defeat to the Red Devils, England manager Gareth Southgate said: “He had some sort of issue with his back that he was complaining about and he didn’t feel he could carry on.
“Outside of that I can’t give you any detail at the moment.”
Since then, Daily Telegraph Matt Law said Chilwell suffered a back spasm and was likely to miss England’s game against Iceland on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old, who has been in good form for club and country, is in a race against time to be fit for Newcastle.
The left-back, who joined from Leicester in the summer on a five-year deal for £45m, will undergo various tests before an assessment is made on when he could be back in action.
The veteran defender has admitted that he has been suffering a “terrible headache” in his last two Chelsea games.
“After my last two games, I’ve had a terrible headache because there are non-stop aerial duels and a very high pace of play,” the 36-year-old told reporters in his press conference for the Brazil national team (via the Independent).
“We have to constantly reinvent ourselves. You lose players because of Covid-19 infections or there are others who get injured because we’re playing a lot of games.
“We’re not machines. We have seen recent studies showing that it is more likely that we are going to get injured after having played every three days four or five times.
“It is very worrying for us.”
He should be fit to play for Chelsea against Newcastle, however.
USA head coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed that Pulisic had returned to Chelsea to continue his recovery from a hamstring injury.
The 22-year-old picked up a slight hamstring problem during the warm-up at Burnley at the end of last month and hasn’t featured for the Blues since.
Pulisic had linked up with the USA squad for upcoming friendly internationals against Wales and Panama and was part of the national team camp, but Berhalter confirmed that the winger has returned to Cobham for further treatment.
When asked if he would be able to play against Newcastle, Berhalter said: “It’s hard for me to speculate on that.
“He was doing some on-field work with us as well, making a lot of progress.
“The one thing I do know is he puts absolutely everything into it [his recovery], it’s the one thing I really admire about Christian is that he’s so focused on getting back on the field.
“He’s getting treatment three times a day, so he’s really focused on getting back and getting better.”
Chelsea will now hope Pulisic can recover in time for the trip to Newcastle, but the former Borussia Dortmund forward is a big doubt.
Havertz will be back after the international break should he return a negative coronavirus test following his isolation period.
“It showed up in the UEFA testing on Monday,” Lampard said last week.
“We retested when we found out. Clearly, everyone else in the squad is negative, so that is a good sign.
“I’ve spoken to Kai a couple of times since we found out. He’s at home, he’s isolating and he was very disappointed because he wants to play.
“He had some minor symptoms yesterday, his symptoms have escalated slightly today but he is fine. I spoke to him two hours before the game today and he’s disappointed to be out.
“He’s trying to do all the right things. It’s just one of those things in the modern day with where we’re at.
“Hopefully, he isolates, does the right things, and comes back firing.”