As confirmed by Frank Lampard in today’s pre-match press conference, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is back in the senior squad to face Tottenham for the first time since his serious achilles injury.
Lampard on injuries: "N'Golo is not fit. A muscle injury, the same as the one he came off with Arsenal with. Should be three weeks. Pulisic is still not fit. I can't give an exact date. Difficult one. Ruben is in the squad but not fit to start. Christensen is fit." #CFC #CHETOT
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) February 21, 2020
Loftus-Cheek has not kicked a ball for Chelsea in a competitive football match since May 2019.
Blues fans have been rejoicing this afternoon of the news that he is back with the senior squad, even though Lampard has insisted that although he will make the bench, he is not fit enough to start yet.
A sign of how important and needed Loftus-Cheek is to this team shows through this decision. He was supposed to play another few games with the under-23 squad before making his return to the seniors, so the fact he is in already must mean that his recovery has gone well for a start, and that Lampard really needs him back in the fold.
But we must all be extra patient with the England international. Callum Hudson-Odoi suffered the same injury around the same time, but he returned months before Loftus-Cheek had even started running again.
The point being is that these injuries affect people differently, and involve a full rebuilding of muscles around the effected area.
It is also worth noting that only just recently has Hudson-Odoi really started showing the confidence and form that he was showing before his injury, so we have to expect that the same thing can happen with Loftus-Cheek.
I mean, he might come back firing on all cylinders right away, and we can only hope for that. But the reality is, it might take him some time to find his feet, so we must keep the desperation and weight off of his shoulders right now.
We also need to use him wisely, there is no way that we need to rush him back in and risk further injury, because he is SO important to this team, especially since Eden Hazard left.
Loftus-Cheek will be the guy we will look at to make things happen from nothing, something that we currently don’t have in this squad, or if we do, they are currently in hiding!