Chelsea concede tearful Loftus-Cheek may need a break after seeing back problems return

Ruben Loftus-Cheek Chelsea 2018-19Getty Images

Chelsea are prepared to offer Ruben Loftus-Cheek a break from first-team football as they seek to get to the bottom of his injury issues.

The 22-year-old was forced from the field in tears on Saturday during the Blues' FA Cup third round clash with Nottingham Forest.

He had been offered another opportunity to impress from the start during that contest.

Three minutes before half-time, his body broke down on him again and he was replaced by Eden Hazard.

Loftus-Cheek is now facing up to another frustrating spell on the sidelines, but Chelsea will do all they can to ensure that his next return is made in peak physical condition.

Blues coach Carlo Cudicini told reporters after the 2-0 win over Forest: “We are very sorry for the kid.

“His impact for the games that he played so far, even today I feel he was contributing very much.

“It is a pity. It is something we need to resolve and maybe he might have to stop for a bit to resolve. He is doing very well.”

Loftus-Cheek took the decision last summer to remain at Stamford Bridge rather than seek a move elsewhere.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek Eden Hazard Chelsea 2018-19

He had impressed during the 2017-18 campaign while on loan at Crystal Palace, earning him senior England international recognition and a place in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad.

It was hoped that he would kick on at Chelsea and nail down a regular starting berth.

That has not been the case, for a number of reasons, but 17 appearances have been made across all competitions.

Those outings have delivered six goals, with a first hat-trick recorded in a Europa League clash with BATE back in October.

It remains to be seen when he will return to the fold, with Maurizio Sarri being forced back to alternative midfield options after seeing Loftus-Cheek suffer another fitness setback.