Chelsea suffered a major blow early on in their Premier League tie with Leicester City on Saturday as Gary Cahill limped off to be replaced by Andreas Christensen and Antonio Conte confirmed that the veteran defender has a muscular ailment.
“Gary Cahill has a muscular problem that is not serious,” Conte stated at the post-match press conference in London on Saturday.
The Blues, perhaps suffering from their mid-week exertions in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, were second best to the Foxes in an intriguing 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Claude Puel’s Leicester were the better of the sides, especially in the first-half and forced Thibaut Courtois into a number of key saves and arguably deserved to be ahead at the interval.
Match referee Mike Jones would send off Leicester fullback Ben Chilwell in the 68th minute but despite the man disadvantage, the Foxes held on for a valuable point.
Conte added that he was unsure of the recovery time the Englishman would require but the return of David Luiz from a knee injury has bolstered his defensive options so the Blues are not exactly bare at the back.
Christensen, who signed a long-term contract earlier in the week, is expected to start in Cahill’s stead, while it perhaps gives the out-of-favour Luiz a chance to win his place back after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The Blues take on Norwich City in a FA Cup third round replay on Wednesday before traveling to Brighton & Hove Albion for a Premier League clash on Saturday.
Conte’s men are in third place at the moment, but could drop to fourth if Liverpool manage to beat runaway leaders Manchester City on Sunday.