Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic has claimed in his pre-match press conference that he is still not fully fit despite returning from injury.
The Croatian has made 3 appearances so far this season, with Thomas Tuchel feeling the need to start him in last weekend’s derby victory over West Ham United.
The decision may not have felt much like a choice though in order to keep up the club’s high standards, with injuries and suspension plaguing them in that role already this year.
N’golo Kante has been the big miss since his injury in the second game of the season, however Ruben Loftus-Cheek being forced off against Southampton also saw the inclusion of Kovacic slightly earlier than the manager would’ve liked.
However, he has travelled with the rest of the squad to his home country for this evening’s Champions League curtain raiser against Dinamo Zagreb.
Kovacic still not fully fit
After being selected for pre-match press duties, he claimed his recovery has gone well although admitted he is still not at the fitness levels he would like.
He said: “I am getting better, my fitness is getting better. ‘I had some problems with my knee after playing with the national team in pre-season, so it was a tough pre-season for me but now I am recovered and getting better day by day.
“I need to get still my sharpness and fitness back but training and games are there for it, so I’m looking forward to being better every day.”
The Blues strengthened their midfield on the final day of the transfer window, adding Denis Zakaria on loan.
The Swiss international has also travelled to Croatia, with the opportunity there for him to make his debut as a Chelsea player in what could be a tricky affair away from home