Mateo Kovacic is said to have avoided a serious ankle injury and remains in contention to feature in Saturday’s FA Cup final.
The Chelsea midfielder was forced off during Wednesday’s victory over Leeds after being caught by a nasty challenge from Daniel James. The Welshman was shown a red card and, after trying to carry on, Kovacic eventually succumbed to his injury and limped off the pitch.
Manager Thomas Tuchel was devastated at the injury and, before any medical checks had been conducted, felt Kovacic would need a miracle to be back in time to face Liverpool in Saturday’s showpiece.
Well, it looks like he might have got one as The Times state that Kovacic’s injury is not nearly as bad as first feared and the Croatia international is expected back in training on Friday.
Should Kovacic make it through the session with no issues, he would be in contention for the FA Cup final, although whether Tuchel would risk him from the start of the game is a different matter.
The boss revealed that Kovacic was dealing with a swollen ankle and was in ‘a lot of pain’ as a result of the tackle, but the feeling is that he may have avoided any internal damage and instead just picked up a nasty knock.
Chelsea may also be without N’Golo Kante, who was in contention to face Leeds but was eventually left out of the matchday squad as he continues to battle an undisclosed injury.
The Blues did welcome Jorginho back to the squad at Elland Road, while Tuchel could also turn to Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Saul Niguez or Ross Barkley if Kovacic does not make it back.