London (AFP) – Thomas Tuchel has refused to set a timescale on the return from injury of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as he juggles Chelsea’s attacking resources for Saturday’s Premier League home game against Norwich.
The Chelsea boss confirmed club-record signing Lukaku and fellow forward Werner would definitely miss the game at Stamford Bridge at the weekend and Tuesday’s League Cup encounter with Southampton.
But he said it was pointless to speculate about when Lukaku would be back from an ankle problem and when Werner would return from a hamstring complaint.
Christian Pulisic will also miss the Norwich clash due to his nagging ankle issue, leaving Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi likely to parter Mason Mount in a three-man forward line.
“Romelu, Timo and Christian are all out for tomorrow,” Tuchel said on Friday. “There’s no big news for Romelu and Timo. I can say they are out for tomorrow and they will be out for the Southampton game and from there we see what’s next.
“I don’t think it makes any sense that we go into speculation about how long it’s going to be… you never know, things can be shorter than expected or they can be longer than expected.”
Tuchel had admitted Lukaku, who rejoined Chelsea from Inter Milan in August for a fee of around £97 million ($134 million) had been mentally tired due to a hectic schedule for club and country ahead of his injury against Malmo.
Both the Belgium international and Germany’s Werner hobbled out of Wednesday’s 4-0 Champions League win over the Swedish visitors.
Asked if even an unwanted rest could benefit Lukaku, who has not scored for Chelsea since mid-September, Tuchel replied: “No, it’s never a good thing, honestly, never a good thing. I cannot see a positive thing from this injury.
“This role as favourites that we have now for some matches (due to a relatively kind fixture list), it was a perfect role for Romelu to take pressure off other people’s shoulders, to take the responsibility.
“He was and is mentally a bit overplayed, like others in our squad, but that doesn’t mean that we constantly have to rest them.
“Jorginho and Mason Mount are in exactly the same spot, but they played a fantastic match.”
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