Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be sidelined for at least a month, after revealing the full extent of an underlying back injury.
The Blues starlet was forced off the pitch in tears during Chelsea’s 2-0 home win against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Saturday and he is now expected to be out of action indefinitely.
According to the Evening Standard, the 22-year-old has been plagued by back issues throughout his career and it has finally got to the point where he needs a long break to fully recover.
Loftus-Cheek was forced to miss two successive games for the Blues during the festive period against Watford and Crystal Palace due to the issue and he was unable to finish his latest game, with further rest needed to avoid further damage.
When asked for an update on the injury he told the Evening Standard: “It’s not good. I have been struggling with it for the last few weeks. I’m going to have to take some proper time out to make sure it heals properly. I’m gutted.”
This latest news comes as a huge blow to club boss Maurizio Sarri, who had recently granted the emerging star a regular spot in his starting XI, with impressive results.
Six goals and three assists across all competitions this term show that Loftus-Cheek is beginning to fulfil his immense potential at Chelsea and it had been hoped he would play a prominent role in the club’s remaining January fixtures.
He was expected to start against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-finals on Tuesday, but Sarri will now have to look at other options in the middle of the park for the first leg clash, with five more fixtures to come thereafter up until the end of the month.
Blues supporters will hope that Loftus-Cheek can return quickly without the need for surgery or extensive therapy, with a bright future on the horizon at both club level and international level with England.