Chelsea are hopeful that Kai Havertz will be available to return to action in the Champions League against Rennes on Tuesday night following his recent layoff after testing positive for coronavirus.
Havertz last played for Chelsea on 31 October in a Premier League win over Burnley and tested positive a few days later. The German midfielder immediately went into self-isolation and began experiencing some symptoms, while the rest of the squad re-tested as a precaution.
Havertz has missed Chelsea’s last three games in all competitions as a result and was out of contention for Germany during the international break.
But having overcome the virus and no longer at risk of spreading anything to his teammates, the 21-year-old has been able to report to Chelsea’s training ground in recent days. He has obviously had to miss training during his absence, but manager Frank Lampard is hoping that natural fitness will shine through and enable him to be involved in some part in France this week.
“I hope he is available. He’s been in for a few days now doing some individual work and he’s looked pretty good,” Lampard is quoted as saying by Chelsea’s official website.
“Kai is a naturally fit boy so I hope to have him travelling with us to Rennes and maybe he’ll get some minutes. I’m not sure exactly how many because it was a two-week isolation but he looks in good shape.”
Chelsea appear to have overcome a challenging start to the season and have won their last five games in a row in all competitions, including seven goals without reply in the Champions League.
A significant part of that is a new-found defensive resilience resting upon summer signings Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy. Silva was among the nominees for October’s Premier League Player of the Month award, while Mendy has only conceded twice in nine appearances since arriving.