Thiago Silva suffered arguably his biggest injury blow of the season after Chelsea confirmed on Tuesday, February 28, that he sustained a knee injury. The Brazilian who has been rock solid at the back for The Blues was substituted in the 19th minute in a London derby against Tottenham, where Chelsea was dealt a 2-0 defeat. The London club, after losing all three points, sit in 10th place after 24 games played, and 26 points behind league leaders Arsenal.
Silva now joins teammates Cesar Azpilicueta, Christian Pulisic, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Edouard Mendy and striker Armando Broja on the injury list. However, Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kante look to have stepped up their recovery at Cobham with both seemingly back in team training.
We take a look at what might have been the catalyst behind the unfortunate season that has seen the 2020/21 Champions League winners struggle this season;
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After going through an assessment and a scan, the results have confirmed damage to Thiago’s knee ligaments and he will now work closely with the club’s medical department during his rehabilitation to return to action as soon as possible. The former PSG player will be out for six weeks, missing the clash against Leeds, the UEFA Champions League 2nd leg against Borussia Dortmund at the Bridge, Leicester City and Everton.
Pulisic who has been out for almost two months with a knee injury is set to be closing in on a return to the Chelsea match-day squad. The USA international was partially involved in first-team training on Monday; this is a big boost for Chelsea ahead of the clash with Leeds and his former club Borussia Dortmund after being Potter’s favourite before the injury.
Chelsea boss Potter said: “We’ve had a good week’s training; everyone is available pretty much apart from N’Golo and Christian Pulsiic. They are making progress, joining the warm-ups, and they will be more integrated next week. So that is good.”
Kante who suffered a hamstring injury against Totten ham in August is yet to feature under Potter after The France international has been doing some light training with the rest of the Chelsea squad at Cobham recently as he builds his match fitness. However, sees his contract expiring in the summer – although Chelsea management is now very confident he will sign a new deal.
Kovacic was never mentioned in the eleven men squad that travelled to White Hart Lane due to illness despite having returned to action following injury against Southampton. Kovacic is expected to be back in action against Leeds united as their next fixture before the mid-week champions league action against Borussia Dortmund.
Azpilicueta who has been the club legend and captain with 500 games, 17 goals with 56 assists was forced out against Southampton last week following a collision with Sekou Mara. The defender left the pitch on a stretcher and was taken to hospital but he’s on the mend now as he eyes a return. Cesar was at the stadium against Totten ham but not as part of the match-day squad. What Potter said: “He’s as ok as can be when you’ve had that concussion. He won’t be ready for the weekend as we have to go through the protocols, but he’s doing well.”
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Chelsea confirmed early in January that Mendy had undergone an operation on a fractured finger sustained during training, meaning he will be absent from the squad for some time. The Senegalese shot-stopper was expected to miss at least six weeks and has yet to return.
Broja suffered a knee injury in a mid-season friendly against Aston Villa following a collision with Ezri Konsa and he was subsequently stretchered off the field of play. The Albania international had no history of knee injuries and his injury is a major blow with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of the radar at present. Broja is expected to be out for at least the remainder of the season after learning that he needs surgery to fix a ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee.
What Potter said: ”It was just an unfortunate action. He got caught up with their player and the ground. It doesn’t look positive at the moment but it’s too early to say. Fingers crossed but it is an awkward one.” The striker is expected to be back in the summer of 2023.
Chelsea’s next five fixtures
Saturday 4th March –Chelsea vs Leeds
Tuesday 7th March –Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund
Saturday 11th March –Leicester city vs Chelsea
Saturday 18th March –Chelsea vs Everton
Saturday 1st April –Chelsea vs Aston Villa