Thomas Tuchel has been boosted by the news Trevoh Chalobah and Reece James are back out on the grass as they continue their recovery from injury, but the boss won’t have any fresh faces available to him for Sunday’s game against Tottenham.
Chalobah hasn’t played since the draw with Liverpool at the start of this year when he aggravated a hamstring strain, while James has been out since the game before, against Brighton, when he went off with a more serious hamstring injury.
Tuchel started his press conference today by providing an update on the right-back before discussing the group more generally.
‘We have a timeframe [on Reece’s return] but we will not make it public because we will just get asked about the timeframe,’ Tuchel said.
‘He is back on the pitch which is good news, but he is in individual training so far away from being a part of the squad for Sunday.
‘Trevoh Chalobah is back in team training but also way too early to play the game on Sunday at this kind of level. So actually nobody is coming back, it’s the same squad.
‘We decided to give them two days off to disconnect a little bit, but the two days alone will not solve everything,’ added Tuchel.
‘It was good to have and after the Tottenham game we have the chance to give the majority of the players more days off because we need it. But for Sunday we have to make sure we are in a different mindset, a different attitude and top shape, because it is a big match.’
Tuchel later confirmed Andreas Christensen remains out after his positive Covid result, and the hope is he will be able to return to training next week.
The boss was then asked about Ousmane Dembele, who he worked with at Borussia Dortmund, amid media speculation linking him with a transfer to Chelsea.
‘He’s a very good player, and I am very fortunate to have trained him in my time at Dortmund. It was only one year, it should have been longer, but I needed to leave and he decided to leave.
‘We are not in close contact, we have met here and there because of his duties for the French national team when I was in Paris. We exchanged some messages.
‘I have absolutely no idea why he is in this situation, I don’t know the detail, so it’s better not to talk.’
The future of Toni Rudiger remains up in the air with his contract expiring in the summer. Tuchel’s media conference finished with him being queried about his compatriot and if there was anything to update.
‘I have said many times how important he is. The talks and negotiations are ongoing so there is no news.’