Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner unavailable for Chelsea's games with Norwich and Southampton, says Thomas Tuchel

Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner both injured in Chelsea's Champions League match against Malmo while Christian Pulisic is also out; Blues face Norwich at Stamford Bridge on Saturday before Southampton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday

Romelu Lukaku will be unavailable for Chelsea's next two games
Image: Romelu Lukaku will be unavailable for Chelsea's next two games

Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner will miss Chelsea's next two games against Norwich and Southampton due to their respective injuries, Thomas Tuchel has confirmed.

Werner (hamstring) and Lukaku (ankle) were both forced off before half-time in their 4-0 Champions League win over Malmo at Stamford Bridge.

Christian Pulisic will also be unavailable for their game against Daniel Farke's side as the forward continues with his recovery from an ankle injury.

Tuchel said: "To make the question a longer one, how is Pulisic too? They are all out tomorrow and probably the Southampton game and then we will see.

Timo Werner was forced off before half-time with what appeared a hamstring injury in Chelsea's 4-0 win over Malmo
Image: Werner was forced off before half-time with what appeared a hamstring injury in Chelsea's 4-0 win over Malmo

"What I can tell you for sure is they are both in treatment, positive and not worried but out of the next two games for sure.

"I don't think it makes sense to go into speculation about how long [the players will be sidelined for] because you never know. Things can be shorter than expected or longer than expected.

"Both are feeling positive and not too worried."

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Chelsea's head coach said he did not regret playing Lukaku against Malmo despite stating before the game that he thought the Belgian striker was overplayed during the international break.

The injury setback comes as a blow for Lukaku who has begun life back at Stamford Bridge in fine form, scoring three goals in seven Premier League games since returning to the club from Inter Milan.

Tuchel added: "Mentally he is a bit overplayed but that does not mean we have to rest him. Jorginho and Mason Mount are in the same spot. It is like this, they have played in a lot of competitions.

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Romelu Lukaku's agent Federico Pastorello has backed the Chelsea forward to return earlier than expected from the ankle injury he suffered against Malmo on Wednesday

"This is what we felt with Romelu so we encouraged him to trust his instincts, let us do the thinking and the structure that he will be able to have the last contact."

Chelsea have a busy playing schedule with five games in the space of 15 days and Tuchel will need to adapt his starting XI on Saturday given the two high-profile absentees.

One suggestion has been to play Kai Havertz further forward, with the German having deputised up front alongside Callum Hudson-Odoi after Lukaku and Werner were substituted on Wednesday.

Tuchel said: "He [Havertz] is not a false nine because he is very strong in behind the last line. When he plays as a nine, we want this from him and he did it against Malmo.

"Kai was not on his personal highest level so it was necessary that he waited some matches. He did what he needed to do and he worked hard."

Norwich City boss Daniel Farke has not given up hopes of Premier League survival despite the poor start to the season
Image: Daniel Farke's Norwich have endured a poor start to the season

Norwich travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday bottom of the Premier League and winless in the top flight so far this term while Chelsea have won their last four in all competitions and sit top of the division.

Compatriots Tuchel and Farke were once coaching colleagues at Borussia Dortmund, with the Norwich boss running the Bundesliga side's reserve team for two seasons while Tuchel took charge of first-team affairs at Signal Iduna Park from 2015 to 2017.

Chelsea's manager said of his opposite number: "I like him a lot as a person firstly, he is very humble.

"We had close exchanges and a very good manager as well in terms of a person.

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Norwich manager Daniel Farke says on-loan Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour is happy at Carrow Road despite having limited playing time in recent weeks

"I'd have liked to have been a player under him as he gives you lots of confidence and trust.

"I hope we have the better end tomorrow. We will do everything we can to get the win."

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