Ahead of Sunday’s London derby with Arsenal, Chelsea had to rule out Pulisic but could offer promising updates on Ziyech and Kante.
Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Christian Pulisic has tested positive for COVID-19 and, therefore, won’t be available to face Arsenal on Sunday.
After scoring in Chelsea’s opening day 3-0 win over Crystal Palace last weekend, Pulisic returned a positive result for COVID-19 shortly afterward and missed an open training session on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old winger is currently in self-isolation in compliance with the UK’s health protocols. He must stay away from the squad for 10 days, meaning he won’t be back in training until late next week at the earliest.
“Christian is unfortunately easy to explain,” said Tuchel in a press conference. “He had a positive test and needs to follow the protocols so he was not in training and not available for the game.”
Ziyech and Kante boost for Blues
Pulisic’s absence is unwelcome, but Tuchel can at least take comfort in Hakim Ziyech and N’Golo Kante’s returns.
Both players attended a full training session on Thursday after missing the win over Palace. Neither of their injuries were serious. Ziyech had a dislocated shoulder from the UEFA Super Cup clash with Villarreal last week, while Kante suffered an ankle problem in the same match.
So while Tuchel couldn’t give a definitive answer on their chances of facing Arsenal, the Chelsea manager is confident they’ll make his squad.
“Hakim and N’Golo are in training and did everything until yesterday to be in training today, and had no problems,” said Tuchel. “We need another more physical and intense training session with them and the team to decide after the training session at 11. It seems very positive that both can be in the squad for Sunday.”