Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Ben Chilwell will miss at least six weeks of action with an anterior cruciate ligament injury – but is hopeful the defender won’t need surgery
The England international is expected to be out for around six weeks, although it’s very difficult to diagnose an injury of this nature.
If the damaged ligament does not heal within the time frame, Chilwell may need to have surgery to fix the problem.
Manager Thomas Tuchel will also be considered about the player being rushed back and suffering a complete tear, which would rule him out for the rest of the season.
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Tuchel remains hopeful about Chilwell’s prognosis but admits he can’t afford to take any chances with his rehabilitation.
“Ben is out, he has a partial tear of his ACL and the decision is to treat it conservatively,” confirmed Tuchel at his Friday press conference.
“The next six weeks will tell the story if he makes it and be available or if he will need surgery.”
With Chilwell out for the foreseeable future, Tuchel is likely to play experienced left-back Marcos Alonso against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Although Tuchel is blessed with reserves, losing Chilwell is still a blow to his team’s prospects of ending a five-year wait for Premier League glory.
“There is never a good moment for big injuries or injuries in general,” admitted the German.
“This personally is a very bad moment because he was so involved and full of confidence. He was so important in our victories.
“We are very sad but he at the moment is very positive because his body has reacted positively to the first treatments and the injury.”
Tuchel also confirmed that Mateo Kovacic will miss the game as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury, while N’Golo Kante is a doubt.
“N’Golo twisted his knee a little bit against Juventus and feels better but it seems he will be out for some days,” added the Chelsea manager.
“We still have a little hope but it’s almost a miracle if he makes it.”
The good news for Chelsea is Romelu Lukaku is fit again after recovering from an ankle injury sustained against Malmo last month.
The Belgian striker was on the bench for their victory against Juventus, but Tuchel has admitted it’s unlikely he will start against United.
“The possibility he starts is not very high because we can’t be sure what happens in the match,” explained the German.
“We have to find the balance to giving minutes and being absolutely competitive for 90 minutes.”
Germany international striker Timo Werner has a better chance of starting the game after making his comeback from a hamstring strain against Juventus, scoring the final goal in the victory.
Kai Havertz, meanwhile, faces a late fitness test after missing the Champions League game with a tight hamstring.