Kante and Thiago Silva leave Chelsea trip to Brighton with new shots
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The German has called for the reintroduction of five substitutes following the Omicron spread, which has seen many Chelsea players excluded in recent weeks.
Disturbingly, Kante suffered a repeat of the knee injury that saw him miss six games in the past month. Silva suffered a hamstring injury with both players scheduled to be substituted in the second half.
Tuchel said: “There are only two days left until Brighton. From today to Wednesday, it’s very short.
“N’Golo is very sore in the exact same place where he was injured against Juventus. It is exactly the same place.
“Thiago is [his] tendon. Hope he is out before it becomes an injury and from there we try to keep going and find a new team and a strong squad on Wednesday.
Such are Chelsea’s injury and Covid-19 issues at the moment that Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi have been at risk, despite the advice of club medics.
Lukaku came on at half-time to turn the game around – scoring one and winning a penalty late in the game.
Tuchel said: “The last time he started for us was in October and it wasn’t because of the quality or because we doubt we are better without him.
“He just didn’t have a chance to get injured and then after his injury, when he was struggling to get back into the schedule that we have, he caught Covid so he had another 10 days and suffered symptoms.
“Now we put him on the pitch for 45 minutes, which was more than what the medical and fitness department recommended, but we felt we could take the risk and be more offensive with him.
“I’m happy, of course, that it went well for today. Now let’s see how the reaction is and how he adapts from here.
Hudson-Odoi also just returned from Covid and Tuchel added: “I think he was brilliant today and we forced him. Normally it was clear that he was playing a half up to a maximum of 60 minutes.
“It was already more than the fitness department’s recommendation, but he was strong in training so I wanted to have him on the court.
“Hakim Ziyech did [had] one workout, Callum had two and a half. So we decided to integrate it. He was involved. He overcame some obstacles today and some adversities. It was a big game, a very important game on his part. It was also a risk as he had just returned from Covid. “
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