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Tuchel rules two Chelsea stars out of Leicester showdown

Romelu Lukaku, Mateo Kovacic
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The Blues boss had some good and bad news on the injury front ahead of the trip to the King Power Stadium this weekend.

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has ruled Romelu Lukaku and Mateo Kovacic out of Saturday’s trip to Leicester City.

The European champions return to action from the international break hoping to extend their three-point lead over Manchester City and West Ham at the top of the Premier League table.

But they will again be without two key players for the visit to the King Power Stadium.

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Lukaku and Kovacic out

Lukaku, who hasn’t played since the 4-0 Champions League win over Malmo last month, has been training on his own at the club’s Cobham base as he recovers from an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, Kovacic has missed Chelsea’s last three games due to a hamstring problem.

“I can tell you that Mateo and Romelu are still out,” said Tuchel in a pre-match conference on Friday. “Romelu is very close to team training, so hopefully he will join the squad on Sunday. He is pushing hard and trying to come back as soon as possible.

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“Mateo will take more days until he is ready.”

Tuchel also refused to set a return date for Lukaku, insisting the plan, for now, is to get him back in training at the weekend.

Mount and Werner set for Chelsea returns

On the bright side, Tuchel was able to confirm that Mason Mount and Timo Werner are both in contention to face Leicester.

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After dental surgery ruled him out of England duty for the international break, Mount reported back to training this week.

Werner, like Lukaku, was forced off against Malmo last month. The German suffered a hamstring injury and has been out of action ever since. However, he took part in full training on Thursday to give Tuchel a timely boost.

“Timo is in team training since yesterday,” said the Blues boss. “We have another training in two hours. Then we will decide whether it makes sense if he is in the squad or on the bench. We can only decide after training later.

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What about the others?

Tuchel has described Christian Pulisic as ‘fine’ for this weekend, although Thiago Silva is a doubt at the moment due to all traveling he has done on international duty. Marco Alonso, meanwhile, has returned to training for Chelsea.