Chelsea receive boost ahead of Boxing Day trip to Aston Villa as Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi return to training after testing negative for Covid-19… as the pair benefit from self-isolation period cut
- Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi have returned to Chelsea training
- The pair tested negative for Covid-19 after missing recent games in isolation
- It comes as a boost for Chelsea as they look to return to winning ways
Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Andreas Christensen have returned to Chelsea training in a boost for Thomas Tuchel’s side ahead of their Boxing Day clash with Aston Villa.
Both Lukaku and Hudson-Odoi missed Chelsea’s draws against Everton and Wolves after testing positive for Covid-19. Christensen also missed the game at the Molineux due to a back injury.
All three players have been pictured back in training on Thursday, with the club confirming that Lukaku and Hudson-Odoi have now tested negative for coronavirus.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (left) and Romelu Lukaku have returned to Chelsea training
Lukaku and Hudson-Odoi were unavailable for Chelsea’s draws with Everton and Wolves
The pair have benefited from recent changes to isolation rules in England. People who test positive for the virus are now able to end quarantine after seven days if they return negative lateral flow tests on days six and seven after originally testing positive.
Before the change, the pair would have had to stay in isolation for ten days.
It comes as positive news for Chelsea who have been affected by Covid-related absences and injuries in recent games. Chelsea have dropped six points behind league leaders Manchester City during this this time.
Belgian striker Lukaku will be hoping to return to scoring ways, having not found the back of the net in the league since the last time Chelsea played Villa on September 11.
Andreas Christensen has also returned to training following a back injury
Lukaku and Hudson-Odoi had tested positive for the virus ahead of their clash with Everton, along with Timo Werner and the injured Ben Chilwell.
Chelsea then asked for the game against Wolves to be called off after Jorginho, Kai Havertz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek then went into isolation.
Tuchel was angry that the game was not called off as he said: ‘We were putting the health and safety of players at huge risk, physically as well as with Covid.
‘We can survive a game but eventually we will pay the price – maybe we are paying the price already. I can’t compare to other games, it is just our situation. It is not safe. We talk about protecting players and a safe environment but it is not safe.
‘I would be not surprised if the next test shows up and we have more positives. How should it stop if we sit in the bus and have dinners and just stay together like nothing happened?
Thomas Tuchel’s side have been heavily affected by Covid-19 related absences in recent games
Lukaku will hope to return to scoring ways having not scored in the league since September 11 against Boxing Day opponents Aston Villa
‘We were struggling with the preparation because we had several consecutive days with positive Covid tests and then we travelled together for three hours with the team, we had dinner together we had another positive test with Jorginho.
‘People are worried because they were on the same bus and had the same dinner. I don’t care so much about the next games. I just care about the next tests and the health of the players.’
Chilwell has also tested negative for the virus but will miss the game at Villa Park due to his injury.
Chelsea’s game against Aston Villa is currently scheduled to go ahead on Boxing Day, though Premier League clashes between Liverpool and Leeds as well as Watford’s trip to Wolves have been called off due to positive Covid-19 cases.