Chelsea conduct medical review as players don’t ‘trust’ Boehly’s staff over injuries

Date published: Saturday 14th January 2023 10:39 - Will Ford

Chelsea defender Reece James comes off the pitch

Chelsea are reportedly conducting a review of the club’s medical department amid reports the players lack ‘trust’ in the new staff brought in by Todd Boehly and Clearlake.

Denis Zakaria became the 11th Chelsea player to be ruled out through injury on Thursday and the club’s owners – who dismissed Chelsea’s medical staff from the previous regime – believe the absence of key players is the biggest reason for the team’s slump under Graham Potter.

A report on Friday claimed Potter retains the full support of the club and Boehly is instead looking at a mass clear-out to bring an end to the era of player power at Stamford Bridge.

But he’s also looking into the high number of injuries at Chelsea and is in the process of reviewing the medical department to assess whether injuries and the recurrence of them could be avoided, according to The Telegraph.

The report comes soon after Reece James’ personal trainer intimated that his client had been rushed back too soon after a knee injury, which led to a further setback.

Long-serving medical chief Paco Biosca was dismissed shortly after the Boehly-Clearlake takeover and was followed out of the exit door by popular head physio Thierry Laurent, who was sacked over Zoom.

Their departures are said to have shocked the Chelsea players, with the club then deciding to outsource medical work to a private physiotherapy company.

That decision resulted in Wesley Fofana flying to America for extensive medical checks, though the £75m centre-back has since suffered more knee problems.

The report states that ‘players believe changes to the medical department were made too quickly and that individuals they trusted with their fitness are no longer at the club’.

Asked if the club were looking into the injury problems, Potter said: “Yeah, absolutely, we’re looking all the time, we’re going over how they are happening, trying to evaluate the whole thing. Sometimes it’s difficult to know how things have happened. It’s a bit of bad luck, but it’s also knowing how we can go forward and improve.”

On whether or not Chelsea had made any key findings, Potter added: “There’s not anything at the moment. There’s not even a pattern, different problems. It’s tricky. It’s not like we’ve been overtraining. We certainly need to get to the bottom of it.”

On the injury to Zakaria, who is unlikely to recover in time to face Crystal Palace on Sunday, Potter said: “The only assessment is it’s at the top of the quad. He felt it when he cleared the ball. In terms of the extent, it’s too early to say.”

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