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Chelsea injury news and return dates ahead of Fulham clash

Chelsea are weighing up a move for the Aston Villa forward Leon Bailey if Christian Pulisic leaves the club at the end of the campaign.

Chelsea cannot afford to start feeling sorry for themselves after two defeats to Manchester City in four days as attention must now turn to their London derby at Craven Cottage in the Premier League against Fulham on Thursday.

Riyad Mahrez (x2), Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden were all on the scoresheet as City rode out 4-0 winners less than 72 hours after Mahrez scored the game-winning goal at Stamford Bridge. From that game on Thursday, both Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic were forced off through injury, with Graham Potter giving key updates on the duo after the weekend’s FA Cup exit.

January arrival Benoit Badiashile could make his Blues debut against Fulham, but many Chelsea players will likely miss the west London derby, with three fresh injuries for Potter to contend with occurring last week. So, with that being said, Chelsea Lens has taken a look at all the latest injury news and return dates.

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Raheem Sterling

Sterling was replaced by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inside the opening couple of minutes in Chelsea’s Premier League clash with City last week. The 28-year-old winger fell to the floor with a grimace on his face following a collision with John Stones.

The Athletic reported on Friday that the forward is set for a scan on his hamstring to understand the extent of the injury he has suffered and understandably, Sterling was not named in the 18-man squad that travelled to his old stomping ground on Sunday, with Potter giving a brief update on the summer signing.

What Potter said: “Raheem had an action in the first minute of the game, a back heel that was a bit strange and felt something in his hamstring.”

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When asked about whether there was a specific timeline for his injury, he said: “No, not at the moment.”

Injury: Hamstring

Expected return date: Unknown

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Christian Pulisic

Pulisic was also subbed off with an injury on Thursday coming off worse in a tackle by John Stones. The United States international was visibly distressed as he went down twice following the challenge.

He was eventually replaced by Carney Chukwuemeka and also was absent from the matchday squad for the FA Cup clash against City

What Potter said: “Christian opened up his knee in the game the other day. We’re still sorting of analysing it but it’s going to be weeks I would say for him.”

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Injury: Knee

Expected return date: Fulham (H) Friday, February 3

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Aubameyang was a noticeable absentee from the Chelsea squad for the Blues’ FA Cup third round fixture against Manchester City.

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The former Arsenal captain was subbed off just past the hour mark in the league clash with City after being called off the bench in place of the injured Sterling.

What Potter said: “Aubameyang had a tight back yesterday so was unable to travel.”

Injury: Back

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Expected return date: Fulham (A) Thursday, January 12

Mason Mount

Mount missed the Premier League clash with City on Thursday with Potter confirming “he got a kick in training” also putting into doubt his involvement against City on Sunday.

The injury suffered by the 23-year-old does not appear to be serious though as he was named in Potter’s starting XI to face Pep Guardiola’s side, lasting 73 minutes before being replaced by Carney Chukwuemeka.

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Expected return date: Fulham (A) Thursday, January 12

Edouard Mendy

Chelsea confirmed on Saturday that Mendy had undergone an operation on a fractured finger sustained during training this week, meaning he will be absent from the squad in the coming games.

The Senegalese shot-stopper missed the Bournemouth match and didn’t even make the bench against Forest. He had previously come back from international duty in October with an injury but played for his club since then despite being replaced as No1 by Kepa Arrizabalaga.

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Injury: Finger

Expected return date: Unknown

Reece James

Pulling up against Bournemouth, James has suffered a further injury after the defender missed the World Cup in Qatar. James has posted an image of himself and N’Golo Kante in recovery though, boosting Chelsea fans’ mood in the new year with the caption: “On the mend.”

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What Potter said: “It’s the same area, so we are concerned. It’s really too soon [to tell]. We’ll have to see over the next 24-48 hours. He felt something there and we will have to find out the extent of it and keep our fingers crossed.”

Injury: Knee

Expected return date: Mid-February

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Wesley Fofana

Having missed most of the season so far, former Leicester man Wesley Fofana’s influence at the back has been somewhat felt in his absence. Kalidou Koulibaly and Thiago Silva have performed well, but the Frenchman will be keen to return to action soon.

What Potter said: ”Wesley had a little setback, which can sometimes happen at the very last stage of rehab, so he will be [out for] a couple of weeks.”

Injury: Knee

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Expected return date: Early January

N’Golo Kante

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

What Potter said: ”He’ll be [the] end of Feb [or the] start of March. It’s a surgery, so it’s a minimum period of four months. My focus is to help him get back fit as soon as possible.”

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Injury: Thigh

Expected return date: Mid-February

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Having been deployed in a number of different positions so far this season, Potter will have missed the versatility that Loftus-Cheek no doubt suitably brings to this Chelsea side.

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What Potter said: ”Ruben is doing some work in the gym so we’re hopeful that he can be involved next week but we’ll see how he goes.”

Injury: Calf

Expected return date: January

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N’Golo Kante

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

What Potter said: ”He’ll be [the] end of Feb [or the] start of March. It’s a surgery, so it’s a minimum period of four months. My focus is to help him get back fit as soon as possible.”

Injury: Thigh

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Expected return date: Mid-February

Armando Broja

Having pulled up nastily in the side’s mid-season friendly against Aston Villa, Armando Broja could be heard reeling in pain as his knee injury more than definitely curtailed his 22/23 season. Having made quite the impression under Potter, it was a sad blow for the former Southampton loanee.

What Potter said: ”It was just an unfortunate action. He got caught up with their player and the ground. It doesn’t look positive at the moment but it’s too early to say. Fingers crossed but it is an awkward one.”

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Injury: Knee

Expected return date: Late 2023

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