Kai Havertz has offered Chelsea a fitness boost ahead of facing Arsenal, but Frank Lampard has confirmed he could be without another star for the rest of the season.
Chelsea head across the capital to the Emirates to face Arsenal on Tuesday night and are eyeing a first win under Lampard since his caretaker arrival last month. He has overseen five matches in all competitions and all five have ended in defeat.
Havertz missed the Brentford defeat last week through a minor knee problem. Lampard outlined his expectation of the Germany international returning to training in the later part of the week to be in contention to face Arsenal on Tuesday.
The 44-year-old has confirmed Havertz’s availability ahead of the London derby, detailing: “Kai Havertz is in contention for the game, he’s trained.”
Meanwhile, Koulibaly handed the Chelsea boss a blow last month after going off with a hamstring injury in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.
He was set to be out for at least a couple of weeks, but Lampard has been provided with a potential season-ending blow. The 31-year-old could miss Chelsea’s final six games of the 2022/23 campaign.
“Out for a while still,” added Lampard. “It’ll be a tight call for the season to be fair. He’s working away. I’ve been impressed as a professional, doing his job very well. Unfortunately the injury was a tough one.”
Reece James and Mason Mount have already been sidelined for the rest of the season, joining Armando Broja who is gradually working his way back to full fitness following anterior cruciate ligament surgery in December.
Marc Cucurella is hoping to return in the next couple of weeks before the season concludes. He picked up a thigh injury and was ruled out for a minimum of two weeks.
Lampard also gave an update on his status, continuing: “Cucurella probably another two weeks or so. It was a two or three week injury when he did it.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang impressed off the bench against Brentford despite defeat and will be itching to face his former club on Tuesday. However, Lampard was coy on his selection but confirmed he is available to be picked.
“I’ve got Auba, Kai, David Fofana. I won’t divulge the team. He’s fit and ready. I’ll pick that position on my feeling on how they’ve trained and what the team structure looks like.”