Chelsea have been handed a welcome injury boost ahead of their Premier League encounter this weekend, with the Times (subscription required) reporting that Mateo Kovacic is set to return.
Kovacic has been sidelined for the west London outfit for over a month with a hamstring injury and a drop in form has followed during the ace’s absence that has seen the side slip to third in the top-flight.
The Times report that the 27-year-old is unlikely to travel with Thomas Tuchel’s squad for the final Champions League group stage tie against Zenit, but is set to be available against Leeds this weekend.
Kovacic started 12 of his 13 appearances for the Blues this season before the injury hit, showing the creative spark that shot him to stardom earlier in his career with a goal and five assists in the Premier League.
Given that the team’s performances have dipped as of late, Kovacic being available for action again will be a massive boost to the side, especially considering their other injury troubles right now.
Whilst the Croatian is now back in full training, Chelsea were dealt injury blows on the weekend as Kai Havertz and Marcos Alonso were forced off in the defeat to West Ham.
With a key player in Ben Chilwell now sidelined with a major injury, Reece James only returning recently, Jorginho playing through a hip issue and N’Golo Kante currently missing, the Blues could certainly do with an important figure like Kovacic returning.
Kovacic coming back into the fray could allow Tuchel to offer some relief to Jorginho or rotate Ruben Loftus-Cheek, as talented as the England international is, having to rely on the academy graduate as a starter is a massive risk due to his unfortunate injury record.