Loftus-Cheek limps out of Chelsea’s friendly win over New England


The midfielder had to be helped off the pitch after what appeared to be a non-contact injury as he tried to bring a ball down.

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek was forced out of the club’s 3-0 friendly win over the New England Revolution on Wednesday with what appeared to be a non-contact injury to his left leg.

The 23-year-old was attempting to bring a ball down between two Revolution players in the middle of the park when he went to ground clutching his leg.

He had entered the match as the club made a massive amount of changes heading into the second half at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts , but lasted just 22 minutes before going down with the injury.

Loftus-Cheek has had a breakout season for the Blues and scored for the club in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final tie against Eintracht Frankfurt, setting the stage for the club’s dramatic win over the German side in penalties.

Following that match, in which the midfielder was substituted to a chorus of boos from the Premier League club’s supporters, he backed his manager’s decision, telling reporters: “I’ve played a lot in these last few weeks, more than I’ve done in my career. So I think I have to pay attention to my body and take care of myself because I don’t want another injury.”

The injury will come as a blow ahead of the Europa League final, which Chelsea will contest against London rivals Arsenal on May 29 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Chelsea rolled out a strong lineup for the charity match against New England, dubbed The Final Whistle on Hate and which is expected to raise over $4 million to benefit organizations geared toward fighting racism in sports.

Eden Hazard, Pedro, David Luiz, Ross Barkley, Jorginho and Olivier Giroud were among the starters, with Gonzalo Higuaín , Loftus-Cheek, Willian and Cesar Azpilicueta all coming on at the break.

The Blues made easy work of the play on the field, with Barkley opening the scoring just three minutes in.

A diving header from Giroud made it 2-0 before the break before Barkley rounded out the scoring just after the hour mark.

But, with the match meaning little to either side in competitive terms, both clubs would have hoped to make it out without any injury worries.

The good news for Chelsea is that Loftus-Cheek will have two weeks in his race for fitness ahead of facing Arsenal.




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