Thomas Tuchel reported the latest news regarding the injuries Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner picked up against Malmo, confirming in his pre-Norwich press conference they will miss tomorrow’s game.
Christian Pulisic remains out for the visit of the Canaries, with Lukaku and Werner joining him on the sidelines with ankle and hamstring issues respectively.
Tuchel was keen not to dwell too much on the striking duo’s absence as he considered the impact their unavailability will have on his selection for the Norwich game and beyond.
‘There is no big news for Romelu and Timo,’ said Tuchel from the Cobham media room.
‘They are out for tomorrow and they are out for the Southampton game, and from there we see what’s next.
‘I don’t think it makes sense to go into speculation about how long this is going to be. If we had done this with Christian Pulisic, maybe you would think I’m a liar and I’m hiding something. You never know. Things can be shorter or longer than expected.
‘The one thing I can tell you for sure is they are both in treatment. Both are feeling positive, not too worried, and are out for the next two games for sure.’
It was put to Tuchel the break might do Lukaku, who he had said was feeling mentally fatigued, some good, as is the fact it comes before a run of games against sides lower down the table.
‘No, it’s never a good thing to be injured,’ he responded emphatically.
‘The role as favourites we have had for some matches and have for some matches was a perfect role for Romelu to take pressure off others’ shoulders.
‘He was mentally a bit overplayed, but like others in our squad that doesn’t mean we have to constantly rest them. Jorginho and Mason Mount are in the same spot, and they played and played a fantastic match. They played a lot of competitions with enthusiasm and personal targets.
‘We encouraged Romelu to trust his instincts and let us do the organising of the structure where he could have the last contact,' added Tuchel.
'This is what we did for the Malmo game. In a role as a favourite he would be crucial for us.
‘But we can’t constantly talk about who is injured. We have to find solutions, and we will find solutions because we trust our squad. The guys who stepped in did a good match, and it’s on them to keep on going tomorrow.’
Tuchel said he had no regrets about letting a trio of strikers - Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi - leave in the summer as their presence would have made his squad too bulky. Sometimes, he stressed, bad luck happens. Regarding his options when it comes to filling the gap left by Lukaku and Werner, Tuchel indicated Kai Havertz would lead our attack.
Ziyech's current state
Tuchel was also asked about the availability of Hakim Ziyech, who has not featured since the defeat at Juventus. The boss believes he is still suffering the effects of the shoulder injury he sustained shortly after giving us the lead in the Super Cup.
‘He was in the team at the beginning of the season because of performance, and then he scored and had the injury in the Super Cup game. I felt it cost him a lot. I don’t feel him 100 per cent free with his shoulders.
‘When we started him after that, several times, I felt even if there was no pain, maybe it’s subconscious, there is something that limits him in his movements and his freedom to turn and accelerate and decelerate.
‘He needs time and patience to fight his way back into the team. Some other guys have performed. But we will never lose trust or patience with him. He will stay an important player I’m sure.’
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