The manager had fresh news on injuries at his press conference after arriving in Germany to play Eintracht Frankfurt...
One of the questions Maurizio Sarri faced shortly after arriving in Germany ahead of tomorrow night’s Europa League semi-final was about the late arrival of the Chelsea plane into Frankfurt.
The boss quickly made it clear that a delayed flight was of no concern to him, especially as the training session at Cobham in the morning went as planned. Instead it is a lack of available centre-backs which is giving him more food for thought.
It was announced yesterday that Toni Rudiger will miss the rest of the season due to meniscus cartilage injury in his knee which has successfully undergone surgery. Sarri explained today at the media conference that the hope had been to manage the injury through the rest of the season and the player would have had the operation at the end. That can be possible in some case but this time it unfortunately proved not to be so.
In addition, Gary Cahill has not travelled to Frankfurt and with young Ethan Ampadu still out, that leaves two specialist centre-backs fit from the senior squad - David Luiz and Andreas Christensen.
‘Cahill is out due to a problem with his Achilles tendon,’ Sarri explained.
'I hope to have him recovered in one week but I don’t know at the moment, I have to speak to the doctor. He has been out for four or five days.
‘We are in trouble with the centre-backs. In the last two trainings we played with Cesar Azpilicueta as a centre-back because I think he is the only other one who can play there. So we are in trouble but this is normal as we have played about 58 games. In the past we were lucky with injuries but in the last 10 days not.’
‘Rudiger is out for at least three months,’ he added. ‘I spoke with him yesterday and of course he is really disappointed but he has to think to return better than before. With serious injury it is very difficult to remain the same, you can be better or worse. He is very strong so I think he will be better than before.’
The Italian made it clear he has no worries about finishing the season with Christensen as the player partnering David Luiz at the back, and indeed the young Dane has plenty of experience of playing German sides having enjoyed two excellent years on loan in the Bundesliga.
‘Andreas has played 25 matches this season so he is ready,’ said Sarri. ‘I hope he will be very fresh mentally and physically. I am sure he is ready to play in every match so the problem is the number of centre-backs. I am very confident about Andreas because he has played important matches very well.’
Sarri was able to confirm Willian has travelled and is well following a knock he took at Old Trafford at the weekend. Callum Hudson-Odoi is of course out for the season but there are no other fresh injury concerns.