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Tuchel issues Lukaku, Werner and Kovacic injury update and discusses Rudiger and Christensen contract situation

Two weeks since his last media assignment and following the international break, Thomas Tuchel was back in front of the press on Friday morning and had mixed news to report on those Chelsea players with injury problems.

The boss was speaking at the earlier time of 10.30am ahead of training and then the trip to the East Midlands before the lunchtime King Power kick-off tomorrow.

When asked about the availability of Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Mateo Kovacic, who were all missing prior to the pause for international football, Tuchel had this to say:

‘I can tell you Mateo and Romelu are out for the game in Leicester. Romelu is very close to team training, hopefully he will join the squad on Sunday. Let’s see how this works out. He is pushing hard and trying to come back as soon as possible. We will try on Sunday.

‘Mateo will take more days until he is ready to join team training. He will miss some more matches.

‘Timo is in team training since yesterday,’ added the boss in better news. ‘Let’s see. We have another training. Then we will decide if it makes sense if he’s maybe in the squad or on the bench. We can only decide after his second training later.’

Tuchel did not wish to commit to Lukaku making a return against Juventus or Manchester United next week.

‘It’s pure speculation and will not help. At the moment, we try hard for him to join team training on Sunday. If everything works out perfectly, he can maybe join the group on the bench, but there are a lot of ifs and I don’t want to put pressure on him. He is putting a lot of pressure on himself.

‘We will not rush things. We will take things seriously as always, we will have talks with the doctor and the physios and the player, and if there is something to be decided it will be on Monday evening.’

The boss also brought up the fitness of three other players, two of whom were on international duty in the Americas, and another, Mason Mount, who had dental surgery during the break.

Christian Pulisic feels fine,’ reported Tuchel after the forward's pair of sub appearances for the USA. 

Thiago Silva will train today. He did not play [in Argentina on Tuesday evening] but he has some travel in his body, some time differences. Let’s see how this works out.

‘Mason is back in training, looking hungry and fresh and in a good spirit, but we need to evaluate. He did training sessions this week and looks good, but we need to see if he can start or play 90 minutes.’

Focusing on the football, Tuchel noted the disruption the long-term injury suffered by Wesley Fofana caused to the start of Leicester’s season, but he remains wary of a ‘team full of individual quality with a top coach’. Tuchel expects his side to play with ‘hunger and passion’ as he hopes to ‘restart our engine after the international break’ on his maiden experience of an away game at Leicester.

Toni Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have been bedrocks in Tuchel’s defence since his arrival, and with both of their contracts up at the end of the season, it is no surprise he was asked for the latest renewal news.

‘It’s pretty clear what we want, but you have to accept sometimes you can end up in situations where the things are in a bit of a delay and take their time, and of course there are with Toni and Andreas at the moment.

‘I’m very sure Toni feels how respected and what kind of an important role he plays in this club. He’s up for the toughest challenge, and the toughest challenge is Premier League football and to win titles. He’s a big part in a big club and I’m sure he’s aware of it.

‘I’m calm because Toni is calm, and the situation inside is calm. Everyone is mature. I’m happy he plays how he plays because we need him on this kind of level.

‘For Andreas, everybody wants the same thing,’ added Tuchel.

‘Hopefully and obviously I expect some good news in the next days. The situations are handled professionally from all sides, very calmly. During the process we can produce the performances we need, and that’s the most important thing.’

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