Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has provided more concerning injury updates on several key players after Saturday’s 3-2 loss to West Ham.
It was a disappointing result that could have been avoided.
Having been six points clear at the top of the table just a few weeks ago, Chelsea now sit third behind Manchester City and Liverpool.
The race for the league title is a marathon, though, and Chelsea must now shift their attention to what’s ahead.
The Blues will have to travel to Russia to face Zenit on Wednesday before facing Leeds United at the weekend.
Ideally, Tuchel will be able to rest a few players in midweek and still get a positive result in their final Champions League group match.
Squad rotation will be key ahead of the festive fixtures given the number of injury problems Chelsea are facing at the moment.
Speaking in the post-match press conference at London Stadium, Tuchel said three players who started against West Ham are now dealing with pain.
More potential injury problems for Chelsea
“Kai [Havertz] has huge pain, Marcos Alonso has back pain, so it’s another two substitutes due to injury,” the German explained (via the club’s official website).
“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 little pain for many days, and you can see it.”
Havertz, who had to be replaced by Romelu Lukaku at half-time, hopefully only sustained a minor injury after a collision with former Chelsea teammate Kurt Zouma.
The most worrying part of the injury updates, however, is that Tuchel seemed unsure about Kante’s potential return date.
Bear in mind, Tuchel initially only expected the France international to be out for up to a week after twisting his knee during the Juventus win a couple of weeks ago.