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Chelsea gaffer Thomas Tuchel says Mateo Kovacic ‘very unlikely’ to play FA Cup final against Liverpool

By Online Desk

Mateo Kovacic is ‘very unlikely’ to play in Saturday’s FA Cup final after an ankle injury picked up against Leeds United on Wednesday night, says Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has said that midfielder Mateo Kovacic is ‘very unlikely’ to play against Liverpool in the FA Cup final this Saturday.

Kovacic sustained an ankle injury during the match against Leeds United on Wednesday night.

The 28-year-old ended on the wrong side of a nasty challenge from Leeds United forward Dan James.

The midfielder, who was determined to finish the match despite the injury, was soon forced out of the match at West Yorkshire.

Chelsea’s impressive 3-0 win was overshadowed by Kovacic’s untimely injury, especially days before the FA Cup final. 

According to reports from Metro, Tuchel said, “It looks swollen and painful. It’s the same ankle he (Kovacic) had injured already. It doesn’t look good.”

When questioned regarding the availability of Kovacic for the all-important FA Cup final, the gaffer said, “I tell you not as a coach and not as an expert, but for me it is very unlikely. I see him – first of all, if Mateo goes out, he never goes out and he played in the semi-final of the FA Cup with the same injury and tried to play another 15 minutes, which was almost impossible. Now he went out. It was a swollen ankle and he is in a lot of pain.”

“For me, I am not a doctor and we need to wait for the examinations. It is very unlikely he can play. It is absolutely bad news for us on a perfect evening,” he added.

Leeds United face third consecutive loss

Leeds United is in third-to-last place, behind Burnley on goal difference having played one game more. Leeds has two games remaining — against Brighton and Brentford — in its bid to avoid a return to the Championship.

Another worry for Leeds United coach Jesse Marsch was the sight of both of his wingers, Jack Harrison and Raphinha, going off with injuries.

(With Inputs from AP)

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