Chelsea will be without Ben Chilwell until at least the New Year after the left-back suffered damage to his ankle in the early exchanges of the win over West Ham. The game was just five minutes old when the former Leicester man rolled his ankle before trying to play on following treatment from Chelsea’s medical team.
The decision to try and continue looks to have only made things worse though for the England international.
Speaking after the game, Frank Lampard confirmed that Chilwell was likely to miss the north London derby with Arsenal.
He said: “I expect he (Chilwell) will be doubtful for Arsenal.
“He turned his ankle, tried to carry on but it was too painful so we’ll have a scan or whatever tomorrow and try to see how bad he is.
“Reece [James] and Chilly have been doing really well so we hope both their injuries are not too bad and they’ll be in and around those two games over Christmas.”
According to The Telegraph, Chelsea have now discovered the full extent of Chilwell’s injury.
While it’s a blow to lose their first-choice left-back for a crucial period, there is a silver lining for the Blues.
The report adds that the scan did not reveal a break or any signs of serious harm to Chilwell’s ankle.
Instead, it’s highly likely that he has suffered minor damage to his ligaments with severe bruising.
It means Chilwell is also highly likely to miss games against Aston Villa and Manchester City.
There could now be more minutes for Emerson Palmieri in the coming weeks, meaning he may stay at the club.
The Blues were open to selling the former Roma man with Marcos Alonso also set to leave Stamford Bridge.
Now Emerson could have a vital role to play under Lampard in the coming weeks as Chelsea look to keep the pressure on at the top.
Despite the disappointment of losing Chilwell, Lampard was delighted with his side’s clean sheet against the Hammers.
The Blues were also without right-back Reece James, who is under assessment following a knee problem.
Cesar Azpilicueta filled in admirably though while Thiago Silva was also on the scoresheet.
Lampard said: “The defence were great. Thiago Silva was the leader but Azpilicueta came in and did brilliantly. As full-backs, you have to defend your zone when they’re crossing the ball again and again.
“They’re very good at set-pieces so it’s something that we’ve worked on a lot in training and personnel like Thiago clearly help a lot.
“Some of our defending of the box this season has been really good and consistent and that has to stay, particularly against opponents like we had tonight.”