Mauricio Pochettino admits he may only have 14 or 15 fit players for the clash with Bournemouth on Sunday as Chelsea’s injury list continues to grow.
Chelsea travel to the south coast needing to bounce back from their defeat at home to Nottingham Forest prior to the international break.
But with an injury list that has entered into double figures, Pochettino says he will be short of numbers.
“With the circumstances, of course, I think it is better for us because we have 11 or 12 players injured,” he said.
“And I think it shows with the squad at the moment. I think we only have 14 or 15 players. I think it’s important that we can recover the players and be competitive.”
New signing Romeo Lavia has been sidelined for the foreseeable future after picking up an ankle injury during the international break which Pochettino admits is a big blow.
“We are really disappointing because I think he was training really well last week and in the international break he twisted his ankle so we are waiting for Monday for the assessment from the doctor.
“I hope that it is not a big but in the last week, he has not been training with the team.
“It’s a sad situation because he was nearly fit to be involved again. He cannot help the team.”
In more positive news, captain Reece James could be back in contention for Chelsea soon.
James had to be substituted in Chelsea’s opening game against Liverpool due to another injury but Pochettino has been encouraged by his recovery.
“He is recovering well, I can not say if he is close or not. We assess him every single day. He is starting to do things on the pitch and with the ball.
“Yes, he is really well. He is desperate to help the team. I hope he is close and can be available before the next international break.”