Chelsea ace delivers crucial injury update with return date revealed after West Ham blow

Chelsea players Jimi Tauriainen and Levi Colwill in training

Chelsea youngster Jimi Tauriainen has confirmed that he is currently out with an injury having made just a second appearance for the first team last week. The 20-year-old made his debut earlier this year in the FA Cup against Leeds.

He was one of an entire outfield selection on the bench against Tottenham made up of academy graduates and youth prospects signed by Todd Boehly / Clearlake Capital. Coming on as a late substitute in place of Nicolas Jackson, the Finland starlet was granted a Premier League debut on Thursday.

It was a busy week for Tauriainen though as he went on to play in the Premier League 2 play-off match for Chelsea's Under-21s just two days later. He started for Mark Robinson's boys at Kingsmeadow in a dramatic 5-4 win after extra time.

Also in the side were Kiano Dyer, Leo Castledine, Zak Sturge and Tyrique George. The quartet also filled the bench against Spurs, but none of them got on. Castledine has already made his debut after appearing earlier this campaign.

Josh-Kofi Acheampong did play, coming on for a brief cameo in front of his own fans. The teenager had his 18th birthday on Sunday. He played no role in the game against the young Seagulls.

For Tauriainen though, having struggled with injuries in the past few years, the Brighton match was cut short. He was taken off after just 24 minutes, replaced by Harisson McMahon.

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The 18-year-old would go on to get an assist in extra-time, setting up Jimmy-Jay Morgan. It was down to a stunning long-range goal from Zain Silcott-Duberry to get through, however.

It is unsurprising that Tauriainen didn't make the senior squad against West Ham two days after this match. Not only did he pick up the injury, but Mauricio Pochettino was also able to welcome back a host of players from their own fitness struggles.

Malo Gusto, Christopher Nkunku, Axel Disasi, Levi Colwill and Raheem Sterling all returned to make the bench in SW6 for the 5-0 win. Gusto and Nkunku came on and played a small role.

Chelsea are still missing a large group though with Romeo Lavia, Enzo Fernandez and Wesley Fofana all ruled out for the remainder of the season. It is uncertain whether Reece James or Lesley Ugochukwu will play again and Robert Sanchez is yet to get back into the squad himself.

If these struggles go on then Tauriainen could find himself in a squad sooner rather than later. He took to Instagram to dismiss fears of being out for a long-time, though. "Back next week [punching hand emoji]," he wrote on his story along with a picture of himself warming up.

A screenshot of Chelsea academy midfielder Jimi Tauriainen warming up
A screenshot of Chelsea academy midfielder Jimi Tauriainen warming up

He joined from HJK Helsinki in 2020. Pochettino has named him on the bench in seven matches in all competitions so far this season.