Chelsea hit by new triple injury blow as Ben Chilwell sent to specialist over knee issue

Chelsea hit by new triple injury blow as Ben Chilwell sent to specialist over knee issue

Chelsea have been hit by a triple fitness blow ahead of Monday’s meeting with Newcastle.

Injuries have plagued the Blues all season and the club confirmed on Thursday that Ben Chilwell has been sent to a specialist for a knee problem suffered after the draw at Brentford.

Levi Colwill is also “beginning a rehabilitation programme” for a toe injury while Conor Gallagher has missed training due to illness during the week.

“The same situation as last week,” Pochettino said on whether any of Chelsea’s absent stars could return to face Newcastle.

“You all know now that we’ve added Levi Colwill and Chilwell to the list of injured players.

“Since Saturday, Gallagher has not been training because he’s got a virus. Let’s see if it’s possible for [Gallagher] to be available. We need to assess him.”

On the club’s injury issues, he added: “It’s very frustrating and disappointing, because the situation has never allowed us [to] work with the full squad.

“Yes, we are suffering this kind of negativity in terms of injuries, but we cannot stop believing and stop working. We need to give confidence to the players who will play on Monday.”

Chilwell missed three months with a hamstring issue earlier this season and could have his participation for Chelsea’s run-in and Euro 2024 put in doubt with another lay-off.

“We need to wait until he sees the specialist,” Pochettino insisted. “I hope it’s not a big issue but I prefer to be cautious and wait.”

A number of first-teamers including Reece James, Romeo Lavia and Christopher Nkunku remain absent.

Pochettino has suggested that youth players could be called up to fill gaps in the squad for Chelsea’s coming games.

“Yesterday there were nine young kids from the academy [in training],” said the manager.

“We have amazing kids from the academy that I think we need to use in this kind of circumstance. It builds their confidence to arrive, one day, to be part of the first-team.”