Tuchel says Chelsea star was 'in pain' after FA Cup semifinal win

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has provided a concerning update on Mateo Kovacic’s injury situation after Sunday’s 2-0 FA Cup semifinal win over Crystal Palace.

Tuchel had to make an early change in the first half after Kovacic sustained an injury just 26 minutes into the game at Wembley.

Fortunately for the Blues, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who came on to replace the Croatia international, did remarkably well and scored his first goal of the season.

Still, Chelsea could be without arguably their best midfielder this season for the next few games, based on Tuchel’s comments after the game.

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

“Kova [went] out. He is in pain and his ankle is swollen. It’s a huge ankle right now,” the manager said in his post-match press conference (via HaytersTV).

“It does not look so good, but let’s wait for the examination.”

The Athletic’s Simon Johnson also claimed that Kovacic left Wembley with his left ankle “heavily strapped”, which is clearly not a good sign.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea are in a quite comfortable position in the Premier League top four race, sitting third with a five-point lead over fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and two games in hand.

The next three games could prove difficult, however.

They will face their second and third consecutive London derby against Arsenal and West Ham, respectively, this week, before visiting Manchester United’s Old Trafford next weekend.

Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, who finished in the top five in last year’s Ballon d’Or ranking, have not been as consistent this season, so Kovacic’s possible absence would have a bigger impact than it used to be.

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A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.