Mateo Kovacic hands Chelsea injury blow ahead of West Ham clash

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Mateo Kovacic is still suffering from a hamstring injury and will miss Chelsea's Premier League match against West Ham.

The 26-year-old sustained the injury ahead of Chelsea's Champions League clash against FC Porto in training and missed the defeat in Seville, as well as the FA Cup win over Manchester City last weekend plus the draw to Brighton in midweek. 

And Thomas Tuchel expects the Croatian to miss the next couple of matches against West Ham and the first-leg of their European semi-final against his former side Real Madrid. 

"Mateo Kovacic is still out but everyone else is available," revealed Tuchel on the Chelsea team news to face West Ham. 

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"With Mateo, I think we can hope for Fulham [for him to return]," added the Chelsea head coach on when Kovacic could return. 

"But that is my hope and not a medical assumption, so don't take that for granted. Maybe the physios and doctors will kill me for saying that! We hope that he maybe he will be back for Fulham, which is between the Real Madrid games.

"Tomorrow is a game, then we have two days to prepare for Real Madrid in the semi-final of the Champions League. Without training, that won't happen so I think realistically Fulham is the target for Kova."

This sees Kovacic in contention to return against Fulham, or for the second-leg of their Champions League clash against Madrid the Wednesday after as they look to claim a spot in the final in Istanbul next month. 


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