Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has suggested that Andreas Christensen could miss the FA Cup game against Liverpool on Tuesday night.
The Blues dropped points at the weekend as they were held at Bournemouth, although the gap between them and nearest rivals for fourth spot, Man Utd, remains three points.
With the FA Cup arguably now their most realistic hope of silverware, Lampard will be desperate to get past Liverpool and remain in contention to land his first trophy as Chelsea manager.
The Merseyside giants come into this one off the back of their first league defeat of the season, while they suffered a loss away at Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last month too.
Whether that refocuses them or is a sign of cracks at a crucial stage of the campaign remains to be seen, but Lampard has injury issues to deal with which won’t make the task any easier.
As per the club’s official site, the Chelsea boss has revealed that Christensen has picked up a “small issue” and suggested that it “probably puts him out of the game”.
It remains to be seen if the Danish defender can show enough over the next 24 hours to convince the medical staff to give him the green light, but that’s not a particularly positive outlook at this stage.
Meanwhile, Lampard also confirmed that Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and N’Golo Kante will all miss out too as they haven’t recovered from various knocks to feature.
There was some positive news though, as he added that Ruben Loftus-Cheek will play for the U23s side on Monday night as he continues to build his match fitness and put himself back in contention at senior level.
The 24-year-old has been out all season thus far as he recovered from an Achilles tendon rupture, but after being named on the bench in the last two league outings, he is seemingly nearing a possible return.
However, given his lack of football over the last few months, turning out for the U23s is perhaps the most sensible plan rather than slinging him straight back into the mix for the first team.