Frank Lampard has expressed his frustrations at Chelsea’s growing list of injury concerns after the Blues boss confirmed another setback to Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Chelsea host Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday but could be without as many as nine first-team stars.
Mateo Kovacic and Willian suffered Achilles problems in Tuesday’s FA Cup win over Liverpool, with the former definitely out.
Alongside Jorginho’s impending suspension for the next three matches, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Christian Pulisic, N’Golo Kante, Andreas Christensen and Tammy Abraham all remained sidelined.
To make matters worse, Lampard confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Friday that Callum Hudson-Odoi has suffered a recurrence of the hamstring problem the 19-year-old picked up during the winter break.
“It’s tough, he wasn’t rushed back, and we had all the signs that he was fit to train,” the manager said of the England international.
“Then he re-injured it on his first training session with us. So it’s frustrating for him definitely, a young boy who’s keen to play as you’d expect. And it’s frustrating because it’s another injury to us.
“It hasn’t been spoken about that much, but we’ve had probably the worst injury list of certainly the top group of the table I think, lots of numbers injured, important players injured, Kante, Loftus-Cheek etc.
“We started the season that way and it’s happened again in the middle of the season. And we’re working against that to try to get the best results.”
Sunday’s game with Everton will see former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti return to Stamford Bridge, where he won the double in his first season.
Asked what sort of reception the Italian can expect, Lampard said: “A very good one.
“He’s very well respected in-house and by the fans. He is a gentleman, a fantastic manager. It was a good season under him [2009/10].
“He’s a great man-manager. On a personal level, he’s great at striking up relationships.
“He’s good tactically and has a great manner. I kept in touch with him now and again.”
Chelsea can boost their hopes of a top-four finish with victory against the Toffees, who can close the gap between the sides to five points with three points.