Thomas Tuchel admits he has ‘no idea’ when key Chelsea star will return from injury

Thomas Tuchel has admitted that he is unsure about when N’Golo Kante will be available for selection again for Chelsea following his injury lay-off.

The French midfielder has not featured for the south west London side since he was forced off in the 4-0 win over Juventus at Stamford Bridge last month.

Kante sat out Saturday’s 3-2 loss to West Ham United at the London Stadium and it remains unclear when the holding midfielder will be available for selection again as the hectic festive period begins to gather pace.

Tuchel was asked for an update about his injured players after the defeat in east London and the German confirmed that Kante remains sidelined, while Jorginho is also struggling with a hip issue. He also provided updates on Kai Havertz and Marcos Alonso after the pair were forced off in Saturday’s loss.

“Kai [Havertz] has huge pain, Marcos Alonso has back pain, so it’s another two substitutes due to injury,” Tuchel said after the game.

“I have no idea when N’Golo Kante will be back and we’re missing also Mateo Kovacic for five or six weeks. Also Jorginho is playing with a hip pain since many days and you can see it.”

Kante’s season has been disrupted by injury and coronavirus, with the midfielder having tested positive for Covid-19 in September.

The 30-year-old has been limited to just six starts in the Premier League this season, scoring two goals in a total of eight appearances in the top flight.

The defeat by the Hammers left Chelsea in third place in the Premier League table and two points behind leaders Manchester City.

Tuchel’s men will attempt to get back to winning ways in the top flight when they host Leeds United on Saturday. Before that, the south west Londoners will take on Zenit Saint-Petersburg away from home in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

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