Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea midfielder Jorginho will ignore the pain of his back injury to play in Saturday’s Premier League clash against Leeds.
Jorginho missed Chelsea’s Champions League draw at Zenit Saint Petersburg on Wednesday because of the ongoing back problem.
But, with Chelsea ravaged by injuries in midfield, Blues boss Tuchel revealed the Italy star is willing to put his body on the line when Leeds visit Stamford Bridge.
N’Golo Kante has been ruled out again with a knee injury and Mateo Kovacic is isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus, while Trevoh Chalobah is also sidelined.
“Jorginho completed the last two training sessions. I think he will do again what he did in the last few games he has played – play through the pain and do what’s needed to be on the pitch,” Tuchel told reporters on Friday.
Reece James, in superb form at right wing-back, deputised in central midfield against Zenit, while struggling Spanish midfielder Saul Niguez moved to left wing-back.
It was an experiment that failed to convince as Chelsea conceded a late equaliser in a 3-3 draw that denied them a first-place finish in the group.
Jorginho’s availability will allow James to return to his usual position and Tuchel said: “Reece will start as a wing-back, and we will find other formations elsewhere.
“We wanted to see Reece there in real life and to try Saul in a new position as well. But there’s no need tomorrow to try these things.”
Chelsea have won just three of their last seven matches in all competitions, with last weekend’s 3-2 defeat at West Ham ending their spell on top of the Premier League.
Tuchel admitted Chelsea cannot ignore their recent stumble as he called on his players to focus on getting the smallest details right.
“Let’s be honest, if you have the lead four times in two matches and you escape with one point and six goals conceded, it’s not the moment to look away and pretend nothing is happening,” Tuchel said.
“It is happening, and I think it’s still a matter of details, still a matter of small things, and not to worry about the big picture.
“There are reasons for it, of course, we played in Zenit without any central midfielders who are used to playing there.”
Third placed Chelsea are two points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, but Tuchel is hopeful they have learned from the recent blip.
“The performances are not horrible. They are in some moments average, and average looks kind of horrible when you play and work for Chelsea,” he said.
“This is very unusual for us and this should not become common. We’ve learned now, hopefully, twice from experience, and we have the chance to prove it now tomorrow.”