Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has claimed that midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still two or three weeks away from being able to complete 90 minutes following his minor back injury.
The England international was forced off the pitch during Chelsea's FA Cup match with Nottingham Forrest in January, causing him to miss a few weeks of first team action.
But Sarri claims that Loftus-Cheek is almost out of the woods in terms of his injury and could start playing 90 minutes for the club within a fortnight.
"In the last few weeks, [his back is] better," Sarri said, quoted by football.london. "He has played with continuity in the last few weeks. His condition is not at the top at the moment to play 90 minutes, which is why he wasn't in the starting XI today.
"I wanted Jorginho on the pitch for 50-55 minutes. I wanted [N'Golo] Kante on for 30-35 minutes. So I wasn't able to choose him because he was another substitution. But only for this reason.
"At the moment, he's not able to play for 90 minutes. His condition is improving. His back is better and better, so I think in two or three weeks he will be able to play for 90 minutes."
Loftus-Cheek has made five substitute appearances in a row in the Premier League since he picked up the injury two months ago, while he also came off the bench in the Carabao Cup final and in two of Chelsea's three Europa League knockout stage matches.
His 26 appearances across all competitions is the highest tally he's ever made in a single season for Chelsea, where he's scored six goals and claimed an assist.
Source : 90min