Chelsea head coach Graham Potter provided an injury update on his squad ahead of our Premier League fixture against Manchester United, including the latest on Conor Gallagher and Reece James, as well as discussing N'Golo Kante's contract situation and our opponents' suspension of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Potter was speaking to the media in his pre-match press conference as we prepare to host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League tomorrow, hoping to continue our head coach’s unbeaten start with Chelsea and a run of five games without conceding.
No new injury problems
Potter confirmed there are no new absences so far apart from the three longer-term injuries to Reece James, N’Golo Kante and Wesley Fofana, who will all miss the visit of United.
'We’re still in the process of recovering everybody after the game but we’re pretty much as we were at Brentford,' said our head coach.
Everyone else is available to face Manchester United after training ahead of the game, including Conor Gallagher, who was forced off in the first half of our 0-0 draw at Brentford on Wednesday, after feeling unwell.
'Conor’s trained today so he’s recovered, so we’ll see how he is over the next 24 hours. But apart from the long-term absences we’re pretty much as we were.’
Graham updated the media on the latest regarding Reece James' recovery from knee surgery, as well as discussing the obvious disappointment he and other injured players will be feeling at the blow to their chances of representing their countries at this year's World Cup.
‘Reece is in a brace for four weeks, which is the first thing, to stabilise the knee and then it’s rehab, so that will take, like we said, about eight weeks. So that’s the latest.
'You have to at least acknowledge the fact they’re human beings who want to be involved in that type of competition absolutely. The reality is that I haven’t got anything to say that will make it better for them, I think it’s worth me acknowledging that.
'It’s one of those things where you just need to focus on the things you can control, focus on your rehab, go day to day. Things get better and then you just move forward.'
Kante contract situation
Potter also spoke about another player who is missing after recently undergoing surgery, N'Golo Kante, but insisted his focus is firmly on helping the Frenchman return to the action, without looking ahead to future contract negotiations at this stage.
'The most important thing for us and for me is that we help him get fit. That’s the focus,' he explained.
'He’s got a long road ahead of him so we have to make sure that we get him the right treatment, we help him get back fit and strong, and once he’s enjoying his football we can think about those things then.'
Ronaldo suspended by United
Our opponents will be without Cristiano Ronaldo at Stamford Bridge as their manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed he will not be involved for disciplinary reasons, having left the bench early when he was an unused substitute in their midweek win over Tottenham Hotspur.
'I can’t really comment because I don’t know the ins and outs but he’s taken his stance. Sometimes you have to do that and then you need the club to support. So on the outside that’s what’s happened.
'It’s difficult for me to comment because I don’t know the actual context, I don’t know what’s really happened. I don’t want to go off headlines and things like that. Part of the job is to take decisions that are difficult but that’s normal.'
Chelsea vs Man United suspension
There are no suspensions. Kai Havertz is two yellow cards away from a suspension for Chelsea, while Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes are both one booking from a ban for Manchester United.
Chelsea vs Man United injury list
Reece James has been ruled out for several weeks after a knee injury sustained during our 2-0 Champions League victory at AC Milan, while N'Golo Kante is expected to be out for four months following surgery on his hamstring. Wesley Fofana is the other ongoing absentee. Conor Gallagher is back in training after being taken off at Brentford due to illness.
Manchester United will be without Donny van de Beek, Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe. Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are both back in training but not expected to feature until next week, although Erik ten Hag hopes that Harry Maguire could return for this game. Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended by the club for disciplinary reasons.