Chelsea face nervous Timo Werner wait ahead of Newcastle clash after training absence

Chelsea forward Timo Werner was noticeably absent from training ground images from late this week, sparking fears he could miss out of this weekend’s game against Newcastle United. Werner was late to return from international duty with Germany and is doubtful for Saturday’s clash at St James’ Park.

Chelsea will welcome Kai Havertz back to the side for Saturday’s trip up north.

The playmaker had tested positive for coronavirus and missed wins over Rennes and Sheffield United before the international break.

He also missed out of Germany’s three games over the past fortnight, instead staying home in England to self isolate and recover.

Werner did meet up with his international team-mates, however, scoring twice in the 3-1 win over Ukraine.

But he seems to have been late in returning to club action, leaving Frank Lampard with a nervous wait ahead of Saturday’s game.

Werner, who has been in good form for Chelsea recently, was originally expected to be involved against the Magpies, but it now seems he could miss out.

He also wasn’t seen in images released by the club on Friday, sparking fears he wouldn’t be involved this weekend.

Speaking at his press conference on Thursday, Lampard gave no mention of Werner but confirmed Havertz would be involved.

“[Christian] Pulisic is not fit for Newcastle but has stepped up his training,” he said.

“Havertz is back, isolation is over and tested negative so trained two days ago to get individually his fitness back.

“[Thiago] Silva has just landed, he probably won’t go to Newcastle because of the journey. Still waiting on some covid testing.

“Unfortunately some are arriving back this afternoon, so with the 12.30pm kick off it brings a lot of challenges.”

Lampard also discussed the potential return of the five substitutes rule, and suggested a reason as to why managers aren’t currently using the full allotment of three changes.

He continued: “I think it is something we have to address again with clubs.

“The reason maybe managers aren’t making three subs is because if you have ten players fearful of tiredness, there is a danger zone to make a third substitute in case of injury.

“My main concern is the player welfare, they are under incredible stress, especially those playing in Europe.

“I don’t want anyone to cry their eyes out for players but everywhere else has five subs, we have to revisit this in my opinion.”

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