Chelsea have decided that left-back Ben Chilwell requires surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury he picked up against Juventus in the Champions League match.
The England full-back will now almost certainly miss the rest of the campaign after sustaining the knee problem during Chelsea's 4-0 win over Juventus back in late November.
Chilwell had been in impressive form after regaining his place in the team and he had scored four goals for club and country ahead of the injury.
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A statement from the club said: "After a knee injury in the match against Juventus the Chelsea medical department, in collaboration with their knee specialist, took the decision to attempt a conservative rehab approach.
"Unfortunately Ben was unable to progress and so collectively the decision has been taken to proceed this week with a surgical repair."
Chilwell had a difficult start to the campaign and has spoken openly about struggling to cope with his lack of involvement in England’s run to the Euro 2020 final, but will now miss the rest of the campaign with his club.
The Champions League holders could, according to numerous reports, attempt to sign cover in the left-back / left-wing back position during the upcoming transfer window, with Everton player Lucas Digne an option.
Tuchel has used Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Saul and Christian Pulisic as cover for Marcos Alonso in the wide left position since Chilwell’s injury but with limited success.
Boss Tuchel had hoped that Chilwell’s absence would be short-term, saying at the time of the injury that the club would re-visit the situation in six weeks’ time.
“Ben is out, he has a partial injury of his ACL, and the decision is to treat it conservatively,” Tuchel said in his press conference after the defender picked up the injury.
“The next six weeks will tell the story if he makes it and be available or if he will need surgery.”
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