Thomas Tuchel has confirmed defender Thiago Silva will miss the first leg of Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
The Brazil international defender was injured in the first half of Chelsea’s 1-0 Premier League win at Tottenham on February 4 and has missed victories over Sheffield United, Barnsley and Newcastle, as well as Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton.
Silva was pictured training towards the end of last week but was not fit enough to play at St Mary’s on the weekend, and Tuchel says the 36-year-old remains unavailable for the match in Bucharest.
“He is not available,” the Chelsea head coach said at a press conference on Monday. “He is training right now. We are leaving and he is not available.”
However, Tuchel did confirm both Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic will be in contention for the game against the La Liga leaders.
Havertz has been absent since the 2-0 win over Burnley on January 31, while Pulisic has started once under Tuchel so far due to several issues including a minor calf problem.
“Very happy that both of them are in the group,” Tuchel said. “They trained with us, no complaints, and they travel with us.”
‘We spoke to Hudson-Odoi in front of the whole group’
Tuchel also discussed replacing Callum Hudson-Odoi in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Southampton on Saturday despite only bringing the winger on at half-time.
Hudson-Odoi was substituted because his “attitude” was not right, Tuchel said after the match, and the German revealed how he addressed the situation.
“We decided to speak to Callum in front of the whole group not alone,” he said.
“For us it was not a big thing. I know it can be sometimes.
“Still I did it and we had the only reaction we wanted he went back to a good mood and trained well. This is the lesson for us to learn.”
Chelsea face Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday before hosting Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday, live on Sky Sports from 4pm; kick-off 4.30pm.