Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek was left in tears after suffering an injury during his side’s 2-0 FA Cup over Nottingham Forest at the weekend.
Two goals from striker Alvaro Morata saw the Blues advance to the fourth round. The 22-year-old Loftus-Cheek was forced to leave the game at half-time as a back problem painfully resurfaced.
There is no doubt that the injury will be a major blow to Loftus-Cheek. He is currently in the process of trying to establish himself as a first-team regular at his boyhood club and this will no doubt halt his progress.
The England starlet looked completely devastated as he walked off the field to be replaced by Eden Hazard. It was quite evident that he was trying to hold back his tears.
The injury is also likely to be a big blow to Maurizio Sarri’s team. The West London giants may not be title contenders this season but they could face a tough fight to finish in the top-four. The fifth and sixth-placed sides Arsenal and Manchester United have demonstrated that they are more than capable of challenging for Champions League football.
The longer Loftus-Cheek will be out for, the less squad depth Sarri will have. After impressing with Palace last season, the 22-year-old has also proven that he is more than capable the type of form he showed at Selhurst Park at Stamford Bridge.
He has so far appeared 16 times in all competitions this term, scoring six goals and has looked impressive whenever called upon.
Speaking after the game, Blues coach Carlo Cudicini indicated that Loftus-Cheek could now be on the sidelines for a while. As quoted by Goal, the former goalkeeper said: “We are very sorry for the kid. It is a pity. It is something that’s affecting him, something we need to look at and resolve.
“It has been going on for a while and maybe he might have to stop for a bit to resolve. It is a pity because he is doing very well.”