Latest Chelsea injury news as 12 miss Aston Villa with Fernandez worry and Moises Caicedo update


It is now almost easier to list those that Chelsea have available to them rather than the ones that are continuing injury concerns or even fresh ones. When it rains, as it did in vast quantities at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, it pours.

Mauricio Pochettino had gone into the international break hoping to welcome back some of his sidelined stars shortly after the fortnight away from club football if not immediately. What happened was that the plague of fitness issues got considerably worse.

Before he has even kicked a ball in a match, new signing Romeo Lavia was ruled out for a number of weeks following an ankle problem picked up in training. He was gearing up to make a first appearance in the coming weeks after hardly having a pre-season.

READ MORE:Why Moises Caicedo missed Bournemouth vs Chelsea with double Mauricio Pochettino team shock

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Instead, Lavia will join Christopher Nkunku in having to wait to make a debut for the club. The Frenchman is recovering from a long-term knee injury sustained in pre-season himself and is, according to the club's latest official update, "continuing to undergo his rehabilitation programme." He won't be back until November at the earliest, December is a more likely return.

Pochettino had been ready to welcome captain Reece James into the side soon as well after he was sidelined for the opening period of the season. There is no current date set for the 23-year-old but the head coach did say ahead of this game: "He's recovering well. I don't know if he's close or not because we assess him every single day but he's started to do things on the pitch with the ball.

"He's really well. He's desperate to play for the team. Yes, I hope it's close, also so he can be available before the next international break."

That is already two of Chelsea's most important players out injured currently but things got worse in the build-up to the trip to the south coast. Moises Caicedo, who was spotted by wearing supportive straps on his right knee during Ecuador training, wasn't part of the matchday squad for the game.

The Premier League's most expensive player, who only ever missed one game for Brighton due to fitness - and that was an illness issue - has already fallen foul to the apparent curse at Stamford Bridge. "Caicedo came [back from international break] with a knock in his knee. We will assess tomorrow," Pochettino said afterwards.

The 21-year-old played both games for is country during the two weeks away, featuring second time around despite the support on his knee. He is one of three fresh injury concerns for Pochettino as Noni Madueke also returned back with a knock.

"Noni came from the national team with a muscle problem," the 51-year-old said. He starred in England Under-21s' 3-0 win over Luxembourg whilst away but did also have a disrupted pre-season himself.

Back-up left-back Marc Cucurella also missed the game with Bournemouth. "Cucurella, fever, yesterday he was at home and today continues still," Pochettino said. That left the Blues to field a bench which only included three players that had made their senior debuts for the club.

In the absence of Carney Chukwuemeka - out since the first half against West Ham with a knee problem - there was increased importance for Enzo Fernandez but even the Argentine star wasn't able to shake off a gruelling fixture schedule to be at his best. Fernandez was visibly tired and fatigued throughout the game and had to be replaced in the second half.

He played in both of Argentina's matches including one game at nearly 12,000 feet above sea-level. Pochettino had been wary of his state of readiness but had few options in the end. Elsewhere there was still no sign of Armando Broja or Benoit Badiashile, both of whom are targeting a return before the next international break as well.

Neither player has been available this season but will be much needed options for depth when they do return in the coming weeks. Marcus Bettinelli is also yet to be in a first team squad this season as he struggles to overcome fitness issues - the third choice keeper wasn't part of the travelling pre-season squad either - and Trevoh Chalobah is sidelined too.

In total it is a remarkable 12 players that are currently out when long-term absentee Wesley Fofana is added into the mix. It covers over £440million worth of players - and that's without the potential value of the group of academy players in there - and is causing all sorts of problems for the manager.

With Aston Villa up next there is a chance that some of the names are back but not, unfortunately for Chelsea, enough of them.

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