Chelsea handed double injury boost ahead of Brighton clash

Chelsea have been handed a double injury boost ahead of their Premier League clash with Brighton.

The European Champions have struggled with injuries and Covid-19 absentees in recent weeks as they attempt to keep pace with Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Thomas Tuchel’s side drew two successive games before beating Aston Villa on Boxing Day and will look to build on that victory on Wednesday when they welcome Brighton to Stamford Bridge.

In a boost to Chelsea, N’Golo Kante and Kai Havertz both trained ahead of the Premier League fixture.

Tuchel suggested Kante would miss the Brighton game after suffering a knee injury in the 3-1 victory over Aston Villa.

Asked if Kante would be absent for the visit of Brighton, Tuchel said: ‘I guess so. It is only two days [away] so from today until Wednesday is a very short time.

‘N’Golo is very painful in exactly the same spot where he had his injury versus Juventus.’

But Kante trained with his Chelsea team-mates on Tuesday and looks to be in contention to face Brighton, along with Havertz who has missed four consecutive games through illness and Covid-19.

In less good news for the Champions League holders, England defender Ben Chilwell looks set to miss the rest of the season as he prepares to undergo knee surgery.

A statement from Chelsea said: ‘After a knee injury in the match against Juventus the Chelsea medical department, in collaboration with their knee specialist, took the decision to attempt a conservative rehab approach.

‘Unfortunately Ben was unable to progress and so collectively the decision has been taken to proceed this week with a surgical repair.’

Chelsea are currently six points behind defending champions Manchester City and level on points with second-placed Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp’s side were beaten by Leicester City.

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