Mauricio Pochettino has revealed his squad could receive a timely boost ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge, with four players potentially returning from injury to bolster our depleted ranks.
Our head coach has been open about the difficult circumstances he and the team have found themselves in recently, with injuries ravaging his squad and leaving him reliant on players from our Academy to name a full bench in our previous match, the 0-0 draw away at Bournemouth last Sunday.
However, with Aston Villa our next opponents when they visit west London on Sunday afternoon, Mauricio Pochettino was able to deliver some good news on the injury front, with Moises Caicedo, Armando Broja, Noni Madueke and Marc Cucurella all potentially available for selection again.
‘We need to recover players. It is important that many names and players start to be available to be involved in the game,' admitted Pochettino.
‘We need to assess Moi tomorrow. He was training individually, not with the team today. We need to assess tomorrow and we will see if he can be involved on Sunday.
‘Marc suffered a fever but has been back since when we restarted the training this week. Noni was involved also during the week in training, so I think yes he will be ready. Maybe we need one day more for Broja. I think maybe he can be involved Sunday, but we are not sure. We need to assess him tomorrow.'
For Broja it will be an especially significant moment, having been out of action since suffering a serious injury at our training camp in Abu Dhabi last December. However, with Chelsea having difficulties in converting possession into goals in recent weeks, Pochettino feels it is important not to put too much pressure on the young striker to solve that problem so early in his return.
‘It’s the same situation we can maybe talk about with many different players. Broja arrives and maybe he will be involved at the weekend but it is after nine months that he has not been competing. We cannot put the responsibility on him.
'Always the responsibility must be on the team, the collective effort. It’s not only the offensive players who need to score, all the players involved in the team need to try to score. We cannot expect that Broja arrives and, if he has the possibility to play, he is going to score with every single touch.
'He needs time also to feel the competition and start to perform in the way that we expect that he can perform.’
There was further news from the manager on the injury front too, confirming that Benoit Badiashile has suffered a minor setback in his own bid to return to the team, while others are continuing to work towards getting back to full training.
‘It was a different muscle for Benoit, a different thing, but it was minor, small,' added Pochettino. 'He is training with Reece James, Carney Chukwuemeka and Trevoh Chalobah. They are very close also to start being involved training with the team.’
Plenty of good news on potential returns both this weekend and in the near future, then. Our head coach explained that is the result of an important week of work at Cobham, with the silver lining of our absence from Europe this season being that it allows his players and staff more time at the training ground to recover between Premier League games.
'I think for us it’s about recovering players from injuries and the players who were out in the international break. In these circumstances for us it is good to have time to work. It was a very good week, we worked really hard with the players that we have and then time to recover players. If you are involved in European competition it’s difficult.
'For the fans of course it is difficult because normally Chelsea is a club that is involved in the European competitions, but at the moment we are not. I think we need to take advantage of the situation.'