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Lowdown on Chelsea's wretched injury record

Christopher Nkunku of Chelsea lies injured on the turf
[Getty Images]

The injury update that is released weekly on the Chelsea website is rapidly starting to look like a team sheet.

This week it was confirmed £53m summer signing Romeo Lavia will miss the rest of the season and will be joined for a period on the sidelines by Robert Sanchez, Carney Chukwuemeka and Trevoh Chalobah after they all picked up fresh issues.

They join longer-term absentees Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Lesley Ugochukwu, Levi Colwill and Christopher Nkunku.

Mauricio Pochettino's inconsistent first season in charge has been much scrutinised but the depth of Chelsea's injury list has undoubtedly made the job harder - on top of trying to create a cohesive team from so many new young players.

A large number of players have had lengthy periods out and the seemingly constant setbacks in their recovery has exacerbated the situation.

Lavia - who has managed just 32 minutes for the Blues - returned from an ankle injury to make his debut but then picked up a thigh problem and now has this season-ending setback.

Nkunku was signed to be the spearhead of Pochettino's attack and has started just twice in between his recovery from a knee problem, a hip issue, and now a fresh hamstring injury.

Fofana, a £70m signing, has not played all season while Ugochukwu has not been able to get any rhythym. Captain Reece James' injury struggles have continued while Colwill is enduring his second spell out this year.

Even Chukwuemeka, whose winner against Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-final before the international break promised much after he has missed the majority of the campaign with knee and ankle problems, has now returned to the injury report.

The fitness issues pose questions for the style and intensity of training, the rehabilitation process, and the medical department - and it is likely to be one of the areas under investigation by Chelsea's hierarchy this summer.

Perhaps only when he has a relatively settled squad to choose from on a regular basis should verdicts be made on whether Pochettino is the man to lead the club forward in the long term.