Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel predicting nothing as he juggles injuries to forwards

·3 min read

Thomas Tuchel has refused to set a timescale on Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner’s return from injury.

The Chelsea boss confirmed £98million striker Lukaku and £54million forward Werner will definitely miss Saturday’s Premier League clash with Norwich and Tuesday’s Carabao Cup encounter with Southampton.

But Tuchel insisted it was pointless to indulge in any further speculation about when Lukaku would be back from an ankle problem and Werner a hamstring complaint.

Chelsea v Malmo FF – UEFA Champions League – Group H – Stamford Bridge
Romelu Lukaku, pictured, receives treatment for the ankle injury he picked up against Malmo (Adam Davy/PA)

Christian Pulisic will also miss the Norwich clash due to his nagging ankle issue, leaving Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi likely to parter Mason Mount in a three-man forward line.

USA forward Pulisic has not featured since the Premier League’s opening day, and his frustrating elongated recovery has left boss Tuchel reluctant to make snap judgements on the Blues’ new injury concerns.

“Romelu, Timo and Christian are all out for tomorrow,” said Tuchel.

“There’s no big news for Romelu and Timo; I can say they are out for tomorrow and they will be out for the Southampton game and from there we see what’s next.

“I don’t think it makes any sense that we go into speculation about how long it’s going to be.

“If we’d done this with Christian Pulisic you’d think maybe I’m a liar, constantly lying and hiding something.

“But the fact is you never know, things can be shorter than expected or they can be longer than expected.

“The one thing I can tell you for sure is that they are both in treatment, they are both feeling positive, they are not too worried and are out for the next two games for sure, and then we’ll see.”

Chelsea v Malmo FF – UEFA Champions League – Group H – Stamford Bridge
Timo Werner, pictured, suffered a hamstring injury in Chelsea’s 4-0 Champions League win over Malmo (Adam Davy/PA)

Tuchel had admitted Lukaku had been mentally tired due to a hectic schedule for club and country ahead of his injury against Malmo.

Both Lukaku and Werner hobbled out of Wednesday’s 4-0 Champions League win over the Swedish visitors to Stamford Bridge.

Asked if even an unwanted rest could benefit Lukaku now, Tuchel replied: “No, it’s never a good thing, honestly, never a good thing.

“I cannot see a positive thing from this injury.

“This role as favourites that we have now for some matches, it was a perfect role for Romelu to take pressure off others people’s shoulders, to take the responsibility.

“He was and is mentally a bit overplayed, like others in our squad, but that doesn’t mean that we constantly have to rest them.

“Jorginho and Mason Mount are in exactly the same spot, but they played a fantastic match.

“So it is like this, they played a lot of competitions, they played a lot of competitions with a lot of enthusiasm and personal targets.

“And this is what we felt with Romelu.

“So we encouraged him to trust his instincts and let us do the thinking and the organising of the structure that he will be able to have the last contact.

“This is what we did for the Malmo game, and in a role as a favourite he would be absolutely crucial for us.

“But honestly we cannot now constantly talk about who is injured, we have to find solutions and we will find solutions because we trust our squad.

“And the guys who stepped in played a good match and it’s up to them to keep on going tomorrow.”

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