Tuchel says Chelsea still struggling with injury, COVID

Midfielders Jorginho and N'Golo Kante have had injury issues while Mateo Kovacic recently recovered from COVID-19.

Tuchel was forced to give some players more minutes than he should have against Aston Villa on Sunday, as Chelsea was several players missing due to injuries and covid. (File Photo)

Manager Thomas Tuchel said Chelsea are not out of the woods yet with a number of COVID-19 cases and injuries depleting the squad before Wednesday's Premier League home game against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Tuchel was forced to give some players more minutes than he should have against Aston Villa on Sunday, as both Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi returned after missing their last three games due to COVID-19.

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Midfielders Jorginho and N'Golo Kante have had injury issues while Mateo Kovacic recently recovered from COVID-19.

Kante came off in the 63rd minute of the Villa clash after appearing to aggravate a knee injury he picked up during the Champions League clash against Juventus in November.

The German told the club website he would speak to the club doctors and physios to find solutions for the Brighton game, with injured midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek also suffering from COVID-19.

"If you speak about central midfield, let's assume N'Golo is out (against Brighton), maybe Ruben is out, so one positive test is enough for the thing to collapse because then Kovacic will play again 90 minutes ... and you risk injuries," Tuchel said.

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"This is what we do at the moment. I can't see how we're out of the COVID threat at the moment as it doesn't feel like it."

As many as 16 English top-flight games have been postponed this month due to COVID-19 and injuries, with Everton's home game against Newcastle United on Thursday the latest.

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