It’s the international break and football managers and fans are holding their breath in the hope that their players return with a clean bill of health.
For Chelsea, like many other Premier League clubs, they have a plethora of players out on international duty this week.
But there are also a number of players who have remained at Cobham for training, or to rest up with niggly injuries, with head coach Frank Lampard getting to work on how he wants to play when the Blues return to action against Newcastle United next weekend.
Here is a round-up of all the very latest Chelsea injury news ahead of their trip to Newcastle on November 21.
The veteran defender has admitted that he has been suffering a “terrible headache” in his last two Chelsea games.
“After my last two games, I’ve had a terrible headache because there are non-stop aerial duels and a very high pace of play,” the 36-year-old told reporters in his press conference for the Brazil national team (via the Independent).
“We have to constantly reinvent ourselves. You lose players because of Covid-19 infections or there are others who get injured because we’re playing a lot of games.
“We’re not machines. We have seen recent studies showing that it is more likely that we are going to get injured after having played every three days four or five times.
“It is very worrying for us.”
He should be fit to play for Chelsea against Newcastle, however.
USA head coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed that Pulisic had returned to Chelsea to continue his recovery from a hamstring injury.
The 22-year-old picked up a slight hamstring problem during the warm-up at Burnley at the end of last month and hasn’t featured for the Blues since.
Pulisic had linked up with the USA squad for upcoming friendly internationals against Wales and Panama, and was part of the national team camp, but Berhalter confirmed that the winger has returned to Cobham for further treatment.
Speaking about the forwrd being bale to play against Newcastle, Berhalter said: “It’s hard for me to speculate on that.
“He was doing some on-field work with us as well, making a lot of progress.
“The one thing I do know is he puts absolutely everything into it [his recovery], it’s the one thing I really admire about Christian is that he’s so focused on getting back on the field.
“He’s getting treatment three times a day, so he’s really focused on getting back and getting better.”
Chelsea will now hope Pulisic can recover in time for the trip to Newcastle, but the former Borussia Dortmund forward is a big doubt.
Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz will be back after the international break should he return a negative coronavirus test following his isolation period.
“It showed up in the UEFA testing on Monday,” Lampard said last week.
“We retested yesterday when we found out. Clearly, everyone else in the squad is negative, so that is a good sign.
“I’ve spoken to Kai a couple of times since we found out. He’s at home, he’s isolating and he was very disappointed because he wants to play.
“He had some minor symptoms yesterday, his symptoms have escalated slightly today but he is fine. I spoke to him two hours before the game today and he’s disappointed to be out.
“He’s trying to do all the right things. It’s just one of those things in the modern day with where we’re at.
“Hopefully, he isolates, does the right things, and comes back firing.”
Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was back available for the Sheffield United game but was left out of the matchday squad.
“Kepa [Arrizabalaga] has recovered. A slight bit of pain but in the squad tomorrow,” Lampard said last Friday.
The Spaniard should be available for selection after the international break.
Billy Gilmour is making good progress following knee surgery and is back in full training.
“Billy is working really well,” Lampard said prior to last month’s clash with Spanish giants Sevilla.
“He’s probably three or four weeks away from his return.
“He’s working outside with the physios at the moment but we hope to integrate him into training with either ourselves or the Under-21s at some point soon.
“We are probably looking at the other side of the next international break with Billy, all being well.”
But he will not have got the minutes he will have wanted to get up to match speed with Scotland U21s.
Coming on as a half-time substitute against Croatia, he was sent off on 71 mintues following a shoulder barge challenge, seemingly for something he said. he will now miss the game with Greece U21s on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Mateo Kovacic and Timo Werner were substituted in the second half against Sheffield United, but it would appear they were withdrawn for tactical reasons, and have since linked up with their national teams.