Chelsea have been dealt a double injury setback in the form of doubts over two key first-team players ahead of their Champions League clash against AC Milan on Wednesday night.
What’s the latest?
That is according to Blues manager Graham Potter, who is set to take charge of his third game at the helm of the Stamford Bridge outfit.
Issuing the update to reporters in the pre-match press conference on Tuesday afternoon, the 47-year-old shared the latest news revolving the fitness of his squad.
As per football.london, Potter said: “Edou [Mendy] has been training with the team the last few days so he will be in the squad which is good news for us because we need as much competition for places.
Jorgi [Jorginho] felt some discomfort against Crystal Palace but has trained today. We’ll see how he reacts to that. Kai [Havertz] had a slight feeling after Palace but trained today.
NG [Kante] is training more and more. Not fully but getting closer. So that’s really positive. That’s about it I think.”
Both could be missed
With both Jorginho and Kai Havertz feeling discomfort ahead of the clash, it puts both players in doubt to feature and raises a new set of conundrums for Potter, who has not had it easy with this Chelsea squad since joining.
It’s a risk-versus-reward scenario for the manager. Coming up against a strong Milan side who have hardly put a foot wrong this season, he will want to go into the match with his strongest XI, which often includes both Jorginho and Havertz.
Whilst the pair trained today, which is a positive, they could both be susceptible to injury, having felt discomfort after the Palace game.
Scoring a brace against England in the UEFA Nations League just over a week ago, Havertz would have wanted to seize the chance to build on that momentum before the flame burns out.
The performance against the Eagles was solid, in a game which saw him deployed as a right midfielder, but he will want to break his goal duck under Potter, having scored just one goal for Chelsea this season. That came against West Ham in Thomas Tuchel’s final Premier League match in charge.
Jorginho’s absence will also be felt, with the Italian often pulling the strings in midfield, having averaged 66.43 passes completed per 90 over the last 12 months, placing him in the top 6% of positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues. It will be a key role for Chelsea, who will be looking to dominate possession against the Serie A champions.
Both players will be missed if deemed unfit for this clash, giving Potter a couple of big decisions to make regarding his team selection for the visit of the Rossoneri to Stamford Bridge.