Thomas Tuchel has revealed Romelu Lukaku could return from injury in time for Chelsea's Champions League meeting with Juventus, while also providing updates on the fitness of Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic and Timo Werner.
Lukaku has been out since suffering a sprain during his side's Champions League victory over Malmo in October.
Prior to that he had been an ever-present for Tuchel and the German will be eager to have him back, particularly as his absence coincided with an injury to fellow forward Timo Werner.
Speaking before his side's Premier League match against Leicester on Saturday, the Blues boss revealed that while this weekend's clash would be too soon for Lukaku to return, he could be in contention for Chelsea vs Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday.
"I can tell you Mateo [Kovacic] and Romelu are out for the game in Leicester. Romelu is very close to team training, hopefully he will join the squad on Sunday. Let’s see how this works out. He is pushing hard and trying to come back as soon as possible. We will try on Sunday," he said.
When pressed on when exactly Lukaku might return, Tuchel added: "It’s pure speculation and will not help.
"At the moment, we try hard for him to join team training on Sunday. If everything works out perfectly, he can maybe join the group on the bench, but there are a lot of ifs and I don’t want to put pressure on him. He is putting a lot of pressure on himself.
"We will not rush things. We will take things seriously as always, we will have talks with the doctor and the physios and the player, and if there is something to be decided it will be on Monday evening."
In better news both Werner and Mount should be okay for the Leicester game. The latter is recovering from having his wisdom teeth removed, a procedure that ruled him out of England duty last month.
"Mason is back in training, looking hungry and fresh and in a good spirit, but we need to evaluate. He did training sessions this week and looks good, but we need to see if he can start or play 90 minutes," he said.
"Timo is in team training since yesterday. Let’s see. We have another training. Then we will decide if it makes sense if he’s maybe in the squad or on the bench. We can only decide after his second training later."
For more from Matt O’Connor-Simpson, follow him on Twitter!
Source : 90min