Mateo Kovacic 'very unlikely' to make FA Cup final, says Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel
5.9k Share this

Leeds United v Chelsea - Premier League

Mateo Kovacic was the victim of a terrible challenge from Dan James (Picture: Getty Images)

Mateo Kovacic is ‘very unlikely’ to play in Saturday’s FA Cup final after an ankle injury picked up against Leeds United on Wednesday night, says Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

Kovacic was on the wrong end of a reckless challenge from Leeds forward Dan James at Elland Road, which saw the former Manchester United man shown a straight red card.

The 28-year-old attempted to play on but was soon forced out of the game in West Yorkshire, which Chelsea went on to win 3-0.

The good result was spoiled by the injury to the Croatian, though, with Tuchel saying: ‘It looks swollen and painful. It’s the same ankle he had injured already. It doesn’t look good.’

On the midfielder’s chances of facing Liverpool at Wembley on Saturday, the German manager added: ‘I tell you not as a coach and not as an expert, but for me it is very unlikely.

Leeds United v Chelsea - Premier League

Kovacic had his foot in ice after limping off (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I see him – first of all, if Mateo goes out, he never goes out and he played in the semi-final of the FA Cup with the same injury and tried to play another 15 minutes, which was almost impossible. Now he went out. It was a swollen ankle and he is in a lot of pain.

‘For me, I am not a doctor and we need to wait for the examinations. It is very unlikely he can play. It is absolutely bad news for us on a perfect evening.’

Chelsea have plenty of options in midfield if Kovacic does not make it back for the weekend, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek replacing the Croatian from the substitute’s bench, while Ross Barkley was an unused sub at Leeds.

N’Golo Kante missed the trip to Leeds through injury but is expected to be available for the weekend.

MORE : Graeme Souness singles out ‘top-class’ Mason Mount for praise after Chelsea beat Leeds United

MORE : Chelsea have agreed new £20m-a-year sponsor to come in post-sanctions

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Twitter and Instagram.

Chelsea FC

5.9k Share this
You May Also Like

Premier League: Moaning managers like Mikel Arteta make life even more difficult for referees

If you want to know why referee Paul Tierney sent off Rob…

Rio Ferdinand insists Tottenham MUST back Antonio Conte in the transfer market this summer

Rio Ferdinand insists Tottenham MUST back Antonio Conte this summer, claiming ‘you…

Paul Pogba hopes to speak to new Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag before deciding his next move

Pogba’s representative will speak to Juventus this week (Picture: Getty) Paul Pogba…

Sadio Mane sends message to Liverpool teammate Alisson after penalty heroics

Sadio Mane’s penalty was saved by Edouard Mendy in the FA Cup…

Harry Kane hints at his Tottenham future after crucial win over Burnley

Harry Kane is ‘looking forward to the next season’ with ‘great manager’…

Postecoglou reveals he’s been in touch with superstar Celtic fans after steering side to premiership

Ange Postecoglou reveals he’s been in touch with superstar Celtic fans Rod…

Man United targets Erik ten Hag may have discussed from De Jong, Rice and Osimhen

With Ajax’s latest Eredivisie title sealed, Erik ten Hag has wasted little…

Marco van Basten tells Erik ten Hag to sign Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech for Man Utd

Marco van Basten believes Hakim Ziyech could thrive under Erik ten Hag…