Thomas Tuchel hopes Andreas Christensen will return for Chelsea before the end of the season after he was ruled out of their Premier League fixture against Arsenal with a tendon problem.
Christensen, 25, limped off at half-time against Manchester City on Saturday evening and offered the Blues an injury scare. They have found out the full extent of the injury and he will be sidelined against Arsenal on Wednesday.
He has been a critical part of the improved backline under Tuchel, which saw him return from the cold. The Chelsea head coach highlighted Christensen's qualities and influence on the Blues team and knows he will be a miss in defensive three.
What Thomas Tuchel said on Andreas Christensen's absence
"It was much better than we feared," Tuchel said of Christensen's injury which he picked up against Man City. "We hope that he can come back in one of the two Leicester games. It will also be a tough one, but the season’s not finished for him hopefully. We have realistic hopes that he can make his comeback, at the latest, against Aston Villa.
"Andreas was crucial in the matches when he played. We missed him for a few games around the Porto game because of hamstring problems and now he has a tendon problem. He is crucial in the back three, he gives us a lot of options because he can play all three positions and he’s very calm, but don’t misjudge him for being calm, he is a very tough one to play against.
"He uses his body very well, he is very strong in individual duels, he is good on the ball. The role in the back three suits him very well and I was very impressed by his performances. Now we got a big relief yesterday when the images were given and were not what we expected in the worst case. So we have realistic hopes that his season is not finished."