Zakaria, James, Pulisic, Fofana – Chelsea injury news and return dates ahead of Liverpool clash

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Chelsea injury news: Graham Potter is still without several key players, with Denis Zakaria becoming the Blues’ latest absentee

Chelsea are facing an injury crisis midway through the 2022/23 season despite a number of new signings being brought into the club. Graham Potter provided a fresh update on Denis Zakaria’s fitness following Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

The Blues were level on points with Liverpool when Kai Havertz scored the winning goal against the Eagles at Stamford Bridge. Several key players are sidelined by injuries for Chelsea, with Raheem Sterling, Christian Pulisic, Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Wesley Fofana all recovering in the treatment room.

Zakaria became the last absentee after suffering a quadriceps injury in the 2-1 loss to Fulham. Here, London football takes a look at the latest Blues injuries.

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Denis Zakaria
The Chelsea loanee was forced off in the 56th minute in the defeat to Fulham and dealt a huge blow to Potter’s midfield options.

What Potter said: “Denis will probably be four weeks old. It’s the top of his quad and that’s a blow for us. I hope he can come back sooner.”

Injury: Quadriceps

Expected date of return: Borussia Dortmund (A) – February 15th.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek
The midfielder joined his teammates for the first time since November on Tuesday (January 10), but the Fulham clash was deemed too soon. However, he could be available for the trip to Anfield and provide Potter with much-needed versatility in future games.

Di Marzio reporter Nathan Gissing claimed that he recovered from the injury in time to face Palace, but had since fallen ill.

What Potter said: “They’re making progress. Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] is closing in.”

Injury: calf

Expected date of return: Liverpool (A) – 21st January.

Christian Pulisic
Pulisic was substituted through injury in the Premier League defeat by Manchester City, coming off badly from a tackle by John Stones. The United States international was visibly distressed as he fell twice after the challenge.

He was eventually replaced by Carney Chukwuemeka and was also absent from the matchday squad for the FA Cup clash against City. He is set for another long spell on the sidelines.

What Potter said: “No way, no, he’s leaving after this [January transfer deadline] and there was never any consideration of him leaving anyway. He’s been out for a few months.

“He is disappointed but optimistic about returning in less than two months. He is in that phase where he keeps his fingers crossed and hopes his rehabilitation goes well.”

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: March

Raheem Sterling
Sterling was replaced by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the opening minutes of the same match, Chelsea lost Pulisic. The 28-year-old winger fell to the ground with a grimace on his face after a collision with John Stones.

Athletic have said the striker is ready for a hamstring scan to understand the extent of the injury he has sustained and, understandably, Sterling was not named in the 18-man squad that traveled to his former haunt on Sunday, with Potter giving a brief update. about hiring summer.

Its second scan is believed to have shown worse damage than previously thought.

What Potter said: . “Raheem less (than Pulisic), but we’re still assessing the extent of that. Hopefully less than that, though.”

Injury: hamstrings

Expected date of return: February/March

Edouard Mendy
Chelsea confirmed last weekend that Mendy underwent surgery on a broken finger suffered in training, meaning he will be out of the team for the next few games.

The Senegalese goalkeeper lost the match against Bournemouth and didn’t even make the bench against Forest. He had already returned from international duty in October through injury, but has played for his club since, despite being replaced at No1 by Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Injury: Finger

Expected date of return: Unknown

Reece James
Playing against Bournemouth, James suffered yet another injury after the defender missed the World Cup in Qatar. James posted an image of himself and N’Golo Kante recovering, raising Chelsea fans’ moods in the new year with the caption: “Recovering”.

What Potter said: “Reece [James] was out on the grass today, not training with the team, but alone.”

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: February

Cute Wesley
Having missed most of the season so far, ex-Leicester Wesley Fofana’s influence in defense has been somewhat felt in his absence. Kalidou Koulibaly and Thiago Silva both performed well, but the Frenchman hopes to be back in action soon.

What Potter said: “Wesley had a little setback, which can sometimes happen in the last stage of rehab, so he’ll be [out] for a few weeks.”

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: February

N’Golo Kante
Having also lost the World Cup, 2018 winners France fell at the last hurdle, with some hints that N’Golo Kante’s influence may have been lost in midfield.

What Potter said: “N’Golo has made his early days training alone, but there’s still a long, long way to go.”

Injury: Thigh

Expected return date: February

Ben Chilwell
Again missing much of the Blues’ season, fellow defender Ben Chilwell will be keen to bounce back and boost Chelsea’s chances of claiming a top four place this season.

What Potter said: “Ben [Chilwell] is closing in.”

Injury: Thigh

Expected return date: February

Armando Broja
After excelling in the team’s mid-season friendly against Aston Villa, Armando Broja can be heard suffering in paiiiiiiiiiiiiin as his knee injury more than definitely cut short his 22/23 season. Having made quite an impression under Potter, it was a serious blow for the former Southampton loanee.

What Potter said: ”It was just an unfortunate action. He was picked up by the player and the ground. It doesn’t look positive at the moment, but it’s too early to tell. Fingers crossed, but it’s weird.”

Injury: Knee

Expected date of return: end of 2023

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