Chelsea team news: Maurizio Sarri admits Blues are 'in trouble' as defensive injury crisis mounts

Gary Cahill will miss Thursday's semi-final first leg with an Achilles injury with Antonio Rudiger also sidelined for three months after knee surgery

Nick Purewal
Thursday 02 May 2019 07:42
Comments
Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea were in trouble against Manchester United

Maurizio Sarri believes Chelsea are "in trouble" for their Europa League semi-final due to a centre back injury crisis.

Gary Cahill will miss Thursday's semi-final first leg with an Achilles injury, leaving David Luiz and Andreas Christensen as Chelsea's only fit senior centre backs.

Cesar Azpilicueta will cover centre back at the Commerzbank Arena, with Antonio Rudiger also sidelined for three months after knee surgery.

"Gary Cahill has an Achilles tendon injury," said Sarri.

"We hope to recover him in one week. So we are in trouble with the centre backs. For the last two trainings we played with Azpilicueta at centre back. So we are in trouble.

"We've played 58 matches so injuries are typical. We were lucky previously but not in the last 10 days."

Chelsea skipper Azpilicueta insisted he is ready to step in at centre back if required.

"I'm ready to play wherever the manager needs me to play," said Azpilicueta.

"But I can adapt to different positions. So I'm ready for it."

Sarri explained that Germany defender Rudiger will be sidelined for three months after surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee.

Chelsea's Italian boss revealed Rudiger actually tore his meniscus in the Blues' 2-0 Premier League loss at Liverpool on April 14.

Rudiger had battled to play through the problem until the end of the season, with the club aware he would need surgery but also knowing he could not exacerbate the injury.

The 26-year-old returned to action for Sunday's Manchester United trip then, only to pull up again, unable to push through to the campaign's conclusion.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

"Rudiger is out for at least three months I think," said Sarri.

"He's upset of course but is very strong and I'm sure he will come back stronger. We tried to arrive at the end of the season, but the injury was there. He had a problem with his meniscus, it was broken.

"We tried to arrive to the end of the season because sometimes you are able to play for one month (with the injury). But the situation was the same."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in