Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that N’Golo Kante will miss tomorrow’s clash with West Bromwich Albion through injury but aside from that he has a fully fit squad to choose from.
The French midfielder returned to Chelsea early from international duty after picking up a small hamstring injury and Tuchel has confirmed that instead of training with the rest of the squad today, Kante undertook some individual work.
‘Everyone was training today and we had a good, high quality session,’ said Tuchel at his pre-match press conference.
‘Apart from N’Golo Kante, he wasn’t with the squad and he did some individual work.’
While the boss has been boosted by the return to fitness of the likes of Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho and Thiago Silva, Tuchel has said he will remain patient with Kante and has eyed up our Champions League second leg clash with Porto as a potential return date.
‘Everybody else was out on the pitch and are all available for tomorrow, which is good news,’ added Tuchel, who earlier today was named the Premier League’s Manager of the Month for March.
‘With N’Golo, we will have to be patient. Will he miss the Porto game? Yes, probably. He is doing individual training and tomorrow’s game comes too soon for him and so he can't be with the squad.
‘After tomorrow’s game, we have just three days to prepare [for Porto]. He has a muscle injury, as we communicated with the national team, so my realistic approach is to think further ahead about Porto, maybe the second game against Porto he could be available for.’
Having Thiago Silva back to fitness is a welcome boost for Tuchel and he commented on why it’s important to have a player of the Brazilian’s quality returning to the side at this stage of the season.
‘It's the best situation you can have as a manager,’ the German commented. ‘We can substitute players or replace players that are injured without a loss of quality.
‘That is very good and it gives us a good feeling. Tomorrow we have Thiago available and everyone else in defence is fit. It's the same with the goalkeepers.
‘It's very important to have this at this time of the season. We need everybody in top shape.’
One player who Tuchel has confirmed will start tomorrow is Timo Werner, with our head coach was quick to praise the German for his willingness to improve and insists the goals will come for Timo.
‘Timo will start tomorrow,’ added Tuchel. ‘Yesterday I sent him in from training because he wanted to do extra finishing with us. But I sent him in because it will happen, the goals will come.
‘Of course, he needs to do something and the best thing to do is to work hard. Work hard against the ball, make runs, don't hesitate, be fearless, don't overthink it.
‘That's easy for me to say but it's the challenge right now for him. Timo will start tomorrow and there we go.’