Raheem Sterling, Loftus-Cheek Chelsea injury news and return dates ahead of Fulham clash

Chelsea injury news: Latest injury news as Graham Potter’s side eye Fulham in late pursuit of top four

Graham Potter looks set to welcome a number of players back into the Chelsea squad ahead of their clash with Fulham at the weekend. The Blues go into the tie after back-to-back defeats to Premier League champions Manchester City and desperately need to put points on the table.

Chelsea are currently ten points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United and three points adrift of Fulham, who are in seventh. A victory for the West Londoners will give the team a huge boost as Potter looks to turn the club’s fortunes around amid an uninspiring rut.

The Blues can take inspiration from the absence of striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who will miss the fight after picking up his fifth yellow card last weekend. So with that said, football.london has taken a look at all the latest injury news and return dates.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek
The midfielder joined his teammates in training for the first time since November on Tuesday, so he is unlikely to feature against Fulham. Having played in several different positions so far this season, Potter will have missed out on the versatility that Loftus-Cheek brings to the Chelsea squad.

What Potter said: ”Ruben is doing some work at the academy, so hopefully he can be involved next week, but we’ll see how he does.”

Injury: calf

Expected date of return: Unknown

Raheem Sterling
Sterling was replaced by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the opening minutes of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with City. The 28-year-old winger fell to the ground with a grimace on his face after a collision with John Stones.

Athletic said on Friday the striker was ready for a hamstring scan to understand the extent of the injury he sustained and, understandably, Sterling was not named in the 18-man squad that traveled to his former stronghold on Sunday with Potter giving a brief update on summer hiring.

What Potter said: “Raheem had action in the first minute of the game, a heel that was a bit awkward and felt something in his hamstring.”

When asked if there was a specific timeline for his injury, he said, “No, not at the moment.”

Injury: hamstrings

Expected date of return: Unknown

Christian Pulisic
Pulisic was also substituted off with an injury on Thursday, worsening on a tackle by John Stones. The United States international was visibly distressed as he fell twice after the challenge.

He was eventually replaced by Carney Chukwuemeka and was also absent from the matchday squad for the FA Cup clash against City.

What Potter said: “Christian broke his knee in the game the other day. We’re still looking into it, but it’s going to take weeks, I’d tell him.”

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: Fulham (H) Friday 3rd February

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang was a notable absence from the Chelsea squad for the Blues’ FA Cup third round match against Manchester City.

The former Arsenal captain was substituted just after the hour mark in the league clash with City after being brought off the bench in place of the injured Sterling.

What Potter said: “Aubameyang had a back injury yesterday, so he couldn’t travel.”

Injury: Back

Expected return date: Fulham (A) Thursday 12th January

mason’s mound
Mount missed out on Thursday’s Premier League clash with City, with Potter confirming that “he’s been kicked in training”, also casting doubt on his involvement against City on Sunday.

The injury sustained by the 23-year-old does not appear to be serious as he was called up to Potter’s starting line-up to face Pep Guardiola’s side, lasting 73 minutes before being replaced by Carney Chukwuemeka.

Expected return date: Fulham (A) Thursday 12th January

Edouard Mendy
Chelsea confirmed on Saturday that Mendy had undergone an operation on a broken finger sustained in training this week, meaning he will be absent from the squad for the next few games.

The Senegalese goalkeeper lost the match against Bournemouth and didn’t even make the bench against Forest. He had already returned from international duty in October through injury, but has played for his club since, despite being replaced at No1 by Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Injury: Finger

Expected date of return: Unknown

Reece James
Playing against Bournemouth, James suffered yet another injury after the defender missed the World Cup in Qatar. James posted an image of himself and N’Golo Kante recovering, raising Chelsea fans’ moods in the new year with the caption: “Recovering”.

What Potter said: “It’s the same area so we’re worried. It’s too early [to say]. We’ll have to see in the next 24-48 hours. He felt something there and we’ll have to find out the extent of it and keep our fingers crossed. “

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: mid-February

Cute Wesley
Having missed most of the season so far, ex-Leicester Wesley Fofana’s influence in defense has been somewhat felt in his absence. Kalidou Koulibaly and Thiago Silva both performed well, but the Frenchman hopes to be back in action soon.

What Potter said: “Wesley had a little setback, which can sometimes happen in the last stage of rehab, so he’ll be [out] for a few weeks.”

Injury: Knee

Expected date of return: early January

N’Golo Kante
Having also lost the World Cup, 2018 winners France fell at the last hurdle, with some hints that N’Golo Kante’s influence may have been lost in midfield.

What Potter said: ”He will be [at] the end of February [or the] beginning of March. It’s a surgery, so it’s a minimum period of four months. My focus is on helping him recover as quickly as possible.”

Injury: Thigh

Expected return date: mid-February

Ben Chilwell
Again missing much of the Blues’ season, fellow defender Ben Chilwell will be keen to bounce back and boost Chelsea’s chances of claiming a top four place this season.

What Potter said: “Ben is back from his solo work in Dubai and is now working more closely with the guys, but he’s not traaaaaaaaining as a team yet.”

Injury: Thigh

Expected return date: February

Armando Broja
After excelling in the team’s mid-season friendly against Aston Villa, Armando Broja can be heard suffering in pain as his knee injury more than definitely cut short his 22/23 season. Having made quite an impression under Potter, it was a serious blow for the former Southampton loanee.

What Potter said: ”It was just an unfortunate action. He was picked up by the player and the ground. It doesn’t look positive at the moment, but it’s too early to tell. Fingers crossed, but it’s weird.”

Injury: Knee

Expected date of return: end of 2023

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