Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said on Friday that Ben Chilwell has suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury and the next six weeks will determine whether he needs surgery which could rule him out for the majority of the season.
The 24-year-old was forced off midway through the second half of Tuesday’s 4-0 Champions League win over Juventus with a knee problem following a challenge by midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
Reports had suggested Chilwell was set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines but Tuchel was upbeat about the possibility of the England international avoiding an operation.
“Ben has a partial ACL tear and the decision is to treat it conservatively,” Tuchel said. “The next six weeks will tell the story if he makes it and will be fully available within this six weeks, or after the six weeks or needs surgery after that.
“Now I only care about the six weeks. The first reaction of his body is very positive so hopefully it stays like this.
“This is the decision after all the examinations and it is a very responsible decision, there is no rush in it and no pressure. This is the reasonable way to do it so all the focus is on the next six weeks.
“We need to talk about it again in six weeks. Maybe we don’t need to talk about it again because everything is fine because this would be the best case. There is a worst case and some shades of grey in between. We have to wait. It does not help if we start now speaking about worst-case scenarios because there is also a best-case scenario.”
Chilwell was in a rich vein of form having forced his way into the first team, scoring three goals in four matches during October and Tuchel added:
“There is never a good moment for big injuries and for injuries in general but this for him personally is a very bad moment because he was so involved, so good and so full of confidence.
“He was a huge part in our performances and victories in the last weeks. We are very sad but he is actually at the moment very positive. I just spoke to him some minutes ago.
N’Golo Kante is also set to miss Sunday’s visit of Manchester United after suffering a twisted knee against Juventus. Tuchel said it would be “almost a miracle” if he makes the game and instead the midfielder is likely to be sidelined for a few days. (ESPN)