Recall that Romelu Lukaku injured his knee during a UEFA Champions League match between Chelsea and Malmo on October 20, 2021. Since then, he has been battling to recover from the injury ahead of this weekend game.
Unfortunately for the 28-year-old Belgian striker, he could not regain enough fitness even though he has started light training ahead of the Premier League game against Leicester City.
Recall that because of the Knee injury, Romelu Lukaku could not join up with his national team ahead of the FIFA international break in November. In his absence, Belgium beat Estonia 3-1 on November 13 and draw 1-1 with Wales on November 16 to qualify for Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Before now, Lukaku has missed Chelsea’s wins against Norwich City, Newcastle United, and Malmo. He was also absent when Chelsea draw with Southampton in the EFL Cup and 1-1 draw with Burnley.
Ahead of the Chelsea Premier League game against Leicester City scheduled to take place at King Power Stadium at 13:30 on Saturday, Chelsea’s coach Thomas Tuchel confirmed that Lukaku would not be available for the league game.
The German coach also confirmed that the Belgium international is close to returning to action and might play the Champions League game against Juventus on Tuesday, November 23, or the league game against Manchester United on Sunday, November 28.
“Romelu is very close to team training, so hopefully he will join the squad on Sunday – let’s see how this works out,” Tuchel said on Friday, November 19.
“He’s pushing hard and trying hard to come back as soon as possible and we will try on Sunday.
“If everything works out perfectly if he is in training on Sunday and then on Monday he can maybe join the group on the bench (against Juventus).
“But there are a lot of ifs and I don’t want to put pressure on him. He’s putting a lot of pressure on himself and we will not rush things.”
Since Romelu Lukaku returned to Chelsea on August 12, 2021, from Inter Milan for a transfer fee worth £97.5 million, the 28-year-old striker has scored 4 goals and provided 1 assist in 11 games for Chelsea.
His first few games at the club presented him as a very big threat but in the last few games, before he sustained a knee injury, his form had dropped drastically.
Though Chelsea bought him due to his goalscoring prowess at Inter Milan, Chelsea seemed to be scoring more goals since the Belgian striker was sidelined.
Hence, the London side might not miss him much when they visit King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Chelsea are currently sitting on top of the table with 26 points in 11 games, three points above second-placed Manchester City.
While Leicester City are sitting on the 12th spot on the league table with 15 points in 11 games, 11 points away from Chelsea.