Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel suffers setback before Man United clash

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel said on Friday that Ben Chilwell has injured his anterior cruciate ligament and the next six weeks will determine whether he needs surgery that could rule him out for most of the season.

The 24-year-old was forced out midway through the second half of Tuesday’s 4-0 Champions League win over Juventus with a knee problem after challenging midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

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Reports had suggested Chilwell was poised for a long time on the sidelines, but Tuchel was optimistic about the possibility that the England international could avoid an operation.

“Ben has a partial anterior cruciate ligament tear and the decision is to treat it conservatively,” Tuchel said. “The next six weeks will tell the story if he makes it and it will be fully available within those six weeks, or six weeks or he needs surgery after that.

“Now I am only interested in the six weeks. His first body reaction is very positive, so I hope it stays that way.

“This is the decision after all the checks and it is a very responsible decision, no rush and no pressure. This is the sensible way to do it, all focus on the next six weeks.

“We need to talk about it again in six weeks. We probably don’t need to talk about it again because everything is fine because this would be the best case. There is the worst case and some shades of gray in between. We have to wait. It doesn’t help if we start talking now.” About worst-case scenarios because there is also a best-case scenario.”

Chilwell was in good shape after working his way up to the first team, scoring three goals in four games during the month of October, Tuchel added: “There is never a good moment for big injuries and injuries in general, but for him personally this is a very bad moment because he was involved Very, very good and full of confidence.

“He has been a big part of our performance and our victories in the past weeks. We are very sad but he is actually very positive at the moment. I spoke with him a few minutes ago. He is very positive because his body reacted very positively to him. First treatment and injury. After a while, you have to Refocusing on the positive and now the coming weeks.”

Chilwell later posted a message on his site Twitter account and wrote“It’s so frustrating to have an injury at a moment like this when I’m really enjoying football and playing for this team.

“I will do everything in my power to get back on the pitch as soon as possible. Thank you for all the messages of support.”

N’Golo Kante is also set to miss Manchester United’s visit on Sunday after twisting his knee against Juventus. Tuchel said it would be “almost a miracle” if he succeeded in the match and instead the midfielder is likely to be out for a few days.

United will be run by interim manager Michael Carrick after the club sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday and despite being 12 points behind leaders Chelsea, Tuchel said they could still be considered contenders.

“I was [expecting them to challenge for the title] “And I probably still are,” Tuchel said. “I will never write off anyone, not in this league nor in this game because it is a big club, first of all, but it has a lot of experience and individually a group of high-level players.

“It’s still the case. Part of the performance from us is not letting them perform because once you let them perform you can see within seconds and minutes of each match the full potential and talent of these players.”

Tuchel also praised the tactical impact of Ralf Rangnick, who is set to become the interim manager of Manchester United but not in time for Sunday’s match.

Rangnick Tuchel was given his first coaching opportunity with U-15 Ulm when he was forced into early retirement as a 24-year-old player due to a knee injury and the Blues boss offered an odd boost to Rangnick’s tactics.

“It helped me a lot,” Tuchel said. “He was my coach and then one of the main characters who convinced me to try coaching.

“He made a huge impact on all of us at this time because he showed us that you don’t have to follow people to the toilet at football matches.

“That was the common belief in those days, that defenders follow their attackers wherever they go. He showed us that it is possible to defend everyone in an area.”


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