Chelsea have been handed a new injury concern as Malo Gusto appears to be the latest player that could be set for a spell on the sidelines. That’s because, according to L’Equipe, the right-back has been forced to withdraw from the France under 21s squad for the November international break.
The report claims that an MRI scan has revealed a small issue in his right knee, specifically with his medial collateral ligament, located on the outer side of the knee. The extent of that injury can vary depending on the grade surrounding it, which the club will be able to know in due course.
A grade one is claimed to be a small issue, taking between one-to-three weeks to recover from, while the most severe case is said to take six weeks or more. While it remains to be seen how long Gusto could be out for, it may have come at an ideal time due to the international break.
There are two weeks before the Blues are back in action, when they face Newcastle, a team that have been going through injury issues of their own. Pochettino has already had his fair share of injuries to deal with at the start of the campaign as players adjust to his demands.
Speaking back in September about the concerns, the head coach said: “Before we arrived here, we did everything to have a clearer idea why there were too many injuries last season also. We analysed the map of risk, and then it is the profile of the player, the risk of the player. It’s not the methodology, it’s not the people working in the medical staff or the coaching staff in the performance area.
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“We need to respect these areas are very good professionals, qualified people. When you assess our players there is some risk of injury you need to assess, and then, of course, bad luck. We have had injuries that would maybe happen over a whole season, or maybe two. There are different situations you cannot control.”
Chelsea will be hopeful that the Gusto issue is nothing more than a short-term one that he can bounce back from, especially given his role in rotating with Reece James – who has been battling with injuries for a few seasons now. With a busy fixture schedule ahead, luck with injuries could make or break the season.