Why Chelsea boss Tuchel has taken responsibility for the injury which could keep Mateo Kovacic out for ‘some weeks’
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has, on Friday, provided an insight into the developments which ultimately culminated in key midfielder Mateo Kovacic picking up a hamstring injury this week.
The subject of player fitness has of course taken centre stage in the media chatter surrounding Stamford Bridge this week.
This comes as European champions Chelsea are forced to deal with a first stretch of truly unfortunate luck on the personnel front this season.
This week alone, all of Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, N’Golo Kante, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner were forced onto the treatment table, owing to fitness problems.
And though some have since recovered ahead of the Blues’ weekend showdown with Newcastle United, key hitmen Lukaku and Werner will play no part:
Tuchel says Kante, Christensen, Loftus-Cheek, Azpilicueta are all available to play for #CFC v #NUFC tomorrow. Lukaku and Werner are still out but will target the first game after the international break. Pulisic is back in training but still too early. Will aim for Burnley game.
— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) October 29, 2021
In turn, it no doubt came as a blow for all associated with Chelsea when, during a press conference on Friday, Thomas Tuchel confirmed that yet another member of his squad has been added to the absentee list in west London.
The player in question? Mateo Kovacic.
Midfield all-rounder Kovacic is of course fresh off the back of a stellar opening to the campaign, which has seen him play a key role for the Pensioners on both the domestic and continental fronts.
During a training session on Thursday, however, the Croat picked up a hamstring issue which looks set to keep him sidelined for several weeks:
‘Very sad news but he injured himself in the last bit of training yesterday. A hamstring injury and will be out for some weeks actually.’
‘He will be out for the next week for sure and then comes the international week. So a minimum of these weeks and then hopefully after the international break he can be back.’
Boss Tuchel, meanwhile, was quick to shoulder at least partial blame for Kovacic’s injury, admitting that the former Real Madrid man may have been overworked:
‘He was doing a bit too much in training so that is maybe my fault but it maybe describes Mateo as you can call Mateo at 3am and call him for tactical training, for defensive training, for set-piece training or just call him and he will be there, smiling.’
‘He is happy to do what is needed to do. He is such a fantastic guy, such a fantastic team player.’
🗣 “He injured himself in the last minute of the training.”
🗣 “You can call Mateo at 3 o’clock at night for training and he will be there.”
Thomas Tuchel blames himself for the hamstring injury that Mateo Kovačić suffered in training pic.twitter.com/hDoi0mHY6e
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 29, 2021
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