Chelsea manager Antonio Conte had a mix of good and bad news both when discussing his side’s team news ahead of the Blues’ home clash with Southampton as he revealed Alvaro Morata was in contention to start but David Luiz was still someway off from returning to the pitch.
“We are trying to sort the situation with the doctor,” Conte said at the pre-match press conference as he continued, “It’s important to assess the situation day by day and to try to solve the problem.I don’t know when he will be able to come back with us but, for sure, with the doctor and medical department we are trying to sort the situation”.
Luiz has not featured since Chelsea’s big UEFA Champions League win over Qarabag in November due to an inflamed knee.
“Every player is frustrated when they don’t play, especially when they have an injury. For sure there is a lot of frustration about the injury because every player wants the training sessions and the chance to give the coach difficulty in his choices,” the Italian added.
“I understand because I was a player, when I was injured I felt very bad and sad because you want to be available for the session, to be in contention for the competition, but injuries are part of the job.”
Alvaro Morata, Chelsea’s record signing and top scorer, missed out on the Blues’ 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town in mid-week but Conte seemed confident the Spaniard would play against the Saints on Saturday.
“He’s better. He trained with us two days ago, again yesterday and also today. He has this pain in his back but he’s in contention for tomorrow’s game,” the Blues manager stated.
Chelsea, the defending champions, have not begun their title defence on the best of notes as they trail leaders Manchester City by 14 points but will have a chance to momentarily reduce the deficit if they beat Southampton at Stamford Bridge as City do not play their game until later on Saturday.