Magdalena Eriksson has been ruled out of Chelsea’s WSL clash with West Ham after testing positive for Covid-19. It comes as a blow after only just returning from injury.
The Blues skipper was named in the squad for Saturday’s Continental Cup final for the first time since suffering an ankle problem in December and was an unused sub in defeat to Manchester City.
However, her return to first-team action has been delayed after testing positive for Covid-19, with Fran Kirby also remaining ruled out of Thursday’s trip to the Hammers for the same reason.
“Magda’s tested positive,” Emma Hayes said. “It’s a setback but it’s been a thin group for a while so it’s not unusual for us within the position – Covid is here, it will be across clubs, we’ve just to minimise it when we can so we don’t lose too many players every time.”
Kirby and Jessie Fleming missed the Continental Cup defeat after testing positive for Covid-19 on the cusp of the final. Hayes confirmed that Kirby remains unavailable, while Fleming will be tested on Wednesday afternoon to determine whether she can return.
Erin Cuthbert has not featured for Chelsea since the February international break but is closing in on a return to full fitness, with Hayes meeting with the doctor on Wednesday afternoon to assess when she can make her first team comeback.
“She’s on the grass,” the boss said. “I know she’s up to 80-90%, I don’t know if that means she’s available this weekend or not.”
Chelsea’s stretched squad have a busy period of fixtures on the horizon as they play catch up with leaders Arsenal. The Blues play in midweek and on Sunday for the next three weeks to make up their games in hand.
Hayes’ side currently sit eight points behind Arsenal at the WSL summit, but having played three games fewer than their title rivals.