Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel confirms Romelu Lukaku will remain OUT injured for trip to Leicester... and he is also a doubt for big clashes against Juventus and Manchester United
Lukaku has been missing for a month because of an ankle injury, suffered during the club's 4-0 Champions League win over Malmo on October 20. He is set to return to team training this weekend. Mateo Kovacic, meanwhile, is not close to returning.
In better news, Chelsea have Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount all available, as they look to stay top of the Premier League.
'He's pushing hard,' Tuchel said of Lukaku when asked about the upcoming games against Juve and United. 'It's pure speculation and it will not help.
'All I can say is, at the moment, we try hard. There are a lot of ifs and I don't want to put pressure on him. He's putting pressure on himself.
'We will take things serious as always, have talks with doctors, physios, and the player.'
Tuchel reserved some criticism for the schedule, having only got his full group together on Friday, less than 24 hours before they face Leicester.
'We're used to it after international breaks,' Tuchel said. 'You won't find a lot of coaches who like it - to have the full squad on Friday then play 12.30pm on Saturday.
'But we won't start a discussion about excuses. We will arrive well prepared in Leicester.'
Asked about Conor Gallagher, the Chelsea youngster who is on loan at Crystal Palace and flying, Tuchel said: 'It's too early to talk about, and way too early in public before we talk with Conor himself with what he wants and his goals.
'This will happen in the summer. He saw this possibility for him and we had these talks before. I'm not surprised the national coach loves him because I loved him from day one.
'There cannot be a coach who does not love guys like this. He's all the time ready to give his everything, and he wants to improve. As a team-mate I would have loved to play with him because he's a helper.'