Thomas Tuchel reveals Mateo Kovacic suffered ‘very sad’ injury in training before Porto clash

Mateo Kovacic misses Chelsea’s clash against Porto (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic is set for a spell on the sidelines after being ruled out of his side’s Champions League clash against Porto with a ‘very sad’ injury.

The Croatian trained with his Chelsea team-mates on Monday evening but he pulled up during the session.

Tuchel already had doubts over N’Golo Kante’s fitness and ideally did not want to risk the Frenchman against the Portuguese giants.

However, the former Leicester City man was selected to start as Tuchel confirmed Kovacic sustained an injury in training.

Tuchel selected Kante to start. (Photo by Denis Doyle – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

‘We had a light injury unfortunately in training yesterday which was very sad so Kova is out,’ said Tuchel.

‘The same with Andreas Christensen. We did not manage to make him fully fit after his muscle issues from the first leg.

These are our two concerns, but we have Thiago back in the squad. There are not too many changes because we are on a good run and the team feels confident.’

Asked about his decision to start Kante, Tuchel continued: ‘It got taken out of my hands [whether to start Kante], the decision was taken when Kova got an injury.

‘Unfortunately, I’d have loved to have the choice to have N’Golo from the bench to be 100% sure that he could finish the game. It’s still possible. He feels very good. It’s good to have N’Golo on the pitch, he gives us a lot confidence, makes everyone feels safe, has a big impact all the time.

‘A quarter-final of the Champions League is the moment for him to be on the field for Chelsea.’

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