Ben Chilwell’s injury is a concern with less than three weeks to go before England’s World Cup campaign begins, says Chelsea boss Graham Potter.
Chilwell pulled up with an apparent hamstring problem in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League on Wednesday night and left the stadium on crutches.
England’s first World Cup game is against Iran on November 21 and manager Gareth Southgate has a November 14 deadline to name his 26-man squad, leaving Chilwell in a precarious position.
Asked if the Qatar tournament was a concern for Chilwell, Chelsea boss Potter said: “I think you would have to.
England’s concerns ahead of the World Cup
- Chelsea’s Reece James is expected to miss out with a knee injury but is doing everything he can to make a return in time.
- Kyle Walker (abdomen) and Kalvin Phillips (shoulder) have been ruled out for the World Cup by Man City manager Pep Guardiola.
- Bukayo Saka has returned to Arsenal training after picking up a knock against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
“Obviously I don’t want to say anything more, but when a player stands up like he did, and he felt it, so it’s never positive.
“It’s a blow for us, on an otherwise positive evening. To see him go up like that isn’t great, fingers crossed when we scan him it won’t be as bad, but fingers crossed at the moment.
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“[It’s] not great Obviously when it gets up like that it’s a concern so we need to scan but it doesn’t look positive at the moment.
“It’s a blow for us in an otherwise positive evening, I think. It’s a blow to see him go down like that, it’s not a great sight.
“So we’re crossing our fingers when we do the scan, it’s not bad, it can’t be serious, but we’ve got to cross our fingers at this point. But obviously we’re disappointed.”
Chilwell appeared to pull his hamstring chasing a ball in stoppage time and though he got up and played on in the dying seconds of the game.
The England defender, who has had such bad luck with injuries in the past, had to be taken to the tunnel at the full-time whistle.
“He didn’t play at the weekend,” Potter added, “thought he could play tonight and have enough time to recover for the weekend.
“So we’ve tried to manage him, he’s never played all three games in a week, he’s had to have strength, it’s been good for him.
“That’s what makes it so frustrating. It’s a blow for us and a blow for him and unfortunately he won’t be the only one to be affected like that in this period because October was an incredible challenge, the games we had to play, but it is what it is.”
Pulisic: Let’s hope it’s not as bad as we think
Chelsea team-mate Christian Pulisic hopes Chilwell’s injury is “not as bad as we think”.
“You never like to see anybody hurt,” he told Sky Sports News. “For Chilly, we hope it’s quick and hopefully it’s not as bad as we think.
“I know he’ll be back soon. We want everyone to be healthy and have a chance [to go to the World Cup].”
Conor Gallagher, who is also Chilwell’s international team-mate, spoke to the left-back after the game and said he was “disappointed” to have picked up the injury.
“We’re really hoping it’s not too bad,” Gallagher told Sky Sports News.
“Everyone is very hopeful, it looks good. They don’t really know how bad it is.
“I’m guessing he’ll have a scan in the next few days, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Chelsea matches before the World Cup
Chelsea vs Arsenal, Premier League – Sunday 6 November; start at 12 noon
Man City vs Chelsea, Carabao Cup – Wednesday 9 November; start at 8 pm, live on Sky Sports
Newcastle vs Chelsea, Premier League – Saturday 12 November; start 17.30 h – live on Sky Sports
England World Cup matches
England vs Iran – Monday November 21; start 1 p.m
England vs USA – Friday, November 25; start at 7 pm
Wales v England – Tuesday November 29; start at 7 pm