Chelsea stars ‘fear sacking their medical staff has backfired’


Chelsea players are reportedly concerned that the club’s decision to overhaul their medical department last summer has backfired – with the Blues said to be launching a review into their injury crisis.  

Graham Potter’s men are enduring a season of turbulence, with the campaign marred by injuries to a number of first team stars, including to the likes of Reece James, Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante. 

It has been reported that the current hierarchy remain confident in Potter despite their diabolical run, that includes just one Premier League victory – over Bournemouth on December 27 –  since mid-October.

Chelsea players are reportedly worried about the club’s decision to overhaul their medical department amid their injury crisis

Thierry Laurent - a physio at the club for 17 years - was let go last summer, reportedly via Zoom

Thierry Laurent – a physio at the club for 17 years – was let go last summer, reportedly via Zoom

Todd Boehly's arrival as Chelsea's new owner brought with it a raft of changes to the club

Todd Boehly’s arrival as Chelsea’s new owner brought with it a raft of changes to the club

According to The Telegraph, fears have been raised among the players regarding last summer’s decision to part ways with long-standing members of the medical department. 

Thierry Laurent, who was head physio at the club for 17 years, departed in the summer having been told he was to leave the club via Zoom.

Meanwhile, Paco Biosca, the club’s medical chief, who joined in 2011, also left in the summer, with reports at the time suggesting players were left ‘shocked’ at his departure. 

Dave Grohl's physio Freddie Murray was hired on a consultancy basis to revamp the medical department

Dave Grohl’s physio Freddie Murray was hired on a consultancy basis to revamp the medical department

Freddie Murray, physio to Dave Grohl, the lead singer of the Foo Fighters after he broke his leg, was hired by the club last summer on a consultancy basis to revamp their medical department. 

It has since been reported that some players’ treatment has been outsourced to a private company, while Fofana was flown to the United States for treatment on a knee injury. 

Players are said to feel that the raft of changes were made with too much haste with individuals they entrusted with their fitness having been let go. 

Reece James hobbled off just 50 minutes into his return from action after 11 weeks on the sideline

Ben Chilwell hobbled off in early November with a torn hamstring – he is yet to return from injury

Chelsea have by far the worst injury record of their fellow top six rivals, with up to 11 first team stars currently sidelined. 

Currently injured include the aforementioned players, as well as Wesley Fofana, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Armando Broja. Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic have recently joined their team-mates in the treatment room. Edouard Mendy is also currently out. 

Denis Zakaria and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have also recently added to the ever-growing list. The Switzerland international Zakaria limped off against Fulham on Thursday night, further compounding the mounting issues for Potter.  

Raheem Sterling went down against Manchester City and is likely to remain sidelined for the next few weeks

Both James and Fofana broke down barely an hour into their respective comebacks from long layoffs. 

Very few of the injuries that many of Chelsea’s players are currently suffering were not the result of impacts, with muscle tweaks and injuries concerning joints, tendons and ligaments filling up the majority of the extensive list.  

The report states that there is hope among those at the club that there could be a raft of returning players to action in February, but the problems are currently mounting for Potter now.

Last week’s loss at Manchester City saw supporters chant for former manager Thomas Tuchel in perhaps the first major sign of supporters moving against the manager and current ownership regime. 

N'Golo Kante has not played for the club since he went off against Tottenham earlier in the season

N’Golo Kante has not played for the club since he went off against Tottenham earlier in the season

They sit 10th in the Premier League, six points off Fulham in sixth. 

Asked about the club’s investigations into the injury crisis, Potter admitted as much that there was one but that no ‘pattern’ had yet been discovered. 

‘Yeah, absolutely, we’re looking all the time, we’re going over how they are happening, trying to evaluate the whole thing,’ he said. ‘Sometimes it’s difficult to know how things have happened. It’s a bit of bad luck, but it’s also knowing how we can go forward and improve.

‘There’s not anything at the moment. There’s not even a pattern, different problems. It’s tricky. It’s not like we’ve been overtraining. We certainly need to get to the bottom of it.’

Graham Potter has admitted concern over the number of injuries and said an investigation is taking place

Graham Potter has admitted concern over the number of injuries and said an investigation is taking place 

 

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