Lampard confirms Pulisic and Loftus-Cheek are close to Chelsea return

‘We have had the worst injury list’: Frank Lampard reflects on Chelsea’s injury crisis that could see NINE senior players out for Everton clash… as Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek play in behind closed doors match in bid for full match fitness

  • Chelsea could be without nine senior players against Everton on Sunday 
  • Frank Lampard said the club have had the ‘worst injury list’ in the top half 
  • Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek played in behind closed doors match  

Frank Lampard could be without up to nine senior players for the visit of Everton on Sunday as injuries and suspensions continue to hamper Chelsea’s top-four hopes.

Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi are all out of the Premier League clash, while there are doubts over Andreas Christensen, Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Willian.

The lengthy list of absentees means Lampard will be down to the barebones for the return of Carlo Ancelotti to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard could be without nine senior players against Everton on Sunday

Lampard said that they have ‘the worst injury list’ as the squad becomes increasingly stretched

Everton head to Chelsea in good shape under the Italian veteran, who has given them outside hopes of European qualification.

Chelsea, meanwhile, remain in pole position for the Champions League. But their squad is stretched for Sunday’s clash.

‘It hasn’t been spoken about that much, but we’ve had probably the worst injury list of certainly the top group of the table I think, lots of numbers injured, important players injured, Kante, Loftus-Cheek etcetera,’ he said.

‘We started the season that way and it’s happened again in the middle of the season. And we’re working against that to try to get the best results.’

Jorginho is suspended, while Kovacic is out with an achilles injury. Kante (adductor) is still sidelined and both Abraham (ankle) and Hudson-Odoi (hamstring) have both suffered a recurrence of previous knocks. Long-term absentees Pulisic and Loftus-Cheek featured in a behind-closed doors game on Friday, though both are lacking match fitness, while Christensen had a ‘small issue’ before the midweek win over Liverpool. Willian will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s game, with Lampard claiming: ‘He’s a question-mark.’

‘It was great to see Christian get some minutes, he’s still short of match fitness, but it’s the first time the injury’s gone up to a level to get him on a big pitch in a relatively competitive match, so it’s a big step forward hopefully,’ Lampard added.

Christian Pulisic is one of two players that has played in a behind closed doors match

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also close to a return after a long-term achilles injury 

‘Ruben played half of that game himself, and is trying to find match fitness. He’s short of that, and Ruben’s saying that himself and I can see that. So there’s work to be done with Ruben.’

Hudson-Odoi will have a scan on Friday afternoon and Lampard said he’ll be out ‘longer than expected’.

‘It’s tough, he wasn’t rushed back, we had all the signs that he was fit to train,’ he said.

‘Then he re-injured it on his first training session with us. So it’s frustrating for him definitely, a young boy who’s keen to play as you’d expect.’

‘Ruben, actually we just had an in-house game which Ruben and Pulisic took part,’ said Lampard in his pre-match press conference. 

‘It’s great to see Pulisic playing but he is short on match fitness. It is a big step forward. Ruben is trying to find match fitness.’ 

Lampard has several injuries to attend to with star youngsters Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi also sidelined. 

Lampard has had a number of injuries to key players and said they have the ‘worst injury list’

‘Hudson-Odoi had a re-injury and is having a scan later today. It’s tough for him. He wasn’t rushed back. He did it training back with us. It’s another injury for us. It hasn’t been spoken about it that much.

He added: ‘We have had the worst injury list. We are working.’

Mateo Kovacic and Willian are also currently injured and the Chelsea boss is unsure whether the Brazilian winger will make a return to the pitch on Sunday.

‘Kovacic is not fit and Willian we will assess him, he is a question mark for the weekend.’ 

Not for the first time this season, Lampard will go head-to-head against an old manager of his in the dugout. Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.  

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