Tuchel rules Kovacic out of Arsenal clash and updates on duo

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Mateo Kovacic will miss tomorrow’s Premier League London derby with Arsenal through injury.

The Croatian was forced off with an ankle ligament issue during Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Crystal Palace at Wembley and Tuchel has revealed that the midfielder is looking at a two-week lay-off from action.

Our German head coach confirmed the news to gathered journalists and broadcasters at his pre-match press conference at Cobham, while also offering an update on Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell’s current fitness levels ahead of the visit of the Gunners to Stamford Bridge.

‘Kova is out for the game tomorrow,’ Tuchel confirmed. ‘He has an ankle ligament injury and is in some pain.

‘He is looking at two weeks out and hopefully he won’t be out for much longer than that, but two weeks can be a long time for us in terms of games.

‘As for the rest of the squad, Callum Hudson-Odoi is out for the game, Ben Chilwell is out of the game and we have some players that are doubts. We will need to examine those players before tomorrow but hopefully that is nothing too bad.’

Hudson-Odoi has not featured for the Blues since our FA Cup victory over Luton at the start of March, while Chilwell was ruled out for the rest of the campaign after injuring his knee against Juventus in the Champions League back in November of last year.

Tuchel said that both players will be given the time required to return to full fitness but did update on where the duo are in the stage of their recoveries.

‘I don’t think so,’ Tuchel answered when asked if we could see Chilwell return to action before the summer.

‘Ben will now go into the transition period where he can join in with the Academy team for training on a tactical level over the next few weeks. We will give him time and won’t try to rush Chilly.

'This will be his next steps and hopefully he can join in with first-team training before the end of the season, but there will be no matches at this kind of level for him.

‘With Callum, we take things day by day and week by week but it is not possible for him to join in with team training just yet. We will not rush him either.’

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