Chelsea boost with Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi returning to training for busy Christmas period amid Covid surge

THOMAS TUCHEL finally got some good news on the injury front for Chelsea as two of his big guns got back to work.

Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi resumed training after testing negative following recent Covid isolation.

Both players are now expected to be in the squad for the Boxing Day visit to Aston Villa.

Lukaku and Hudson-Odoi were just two cases of coronavirus to hit Chelsea over the past ten days.

And Tuchel is still sweating on German pair Timo Werner and Kai Havertz who sat out Thursday's training session at the club’s Surrey HQ.

None of the four players has been involved in a game since the 3-2 win over Leeds at Stamford Bridge on December 11.

Chelsea have won only one of the three games since – Wednesday’s 2-0 Carabao Cup quarter final win over Brentford.

Boss Tuchel has been outspoken with his disappointment that the Premier League rejected Chelsea’s calls for last Sunday’s trip to Wolves to be postponed when they said they had seven players down with Covid.

The German coach says every day is a ‘lottery’ with the virus rampaging through the game.

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Despite this boost he remains anxious about preparations for Sunday’s tea-time kick off at Villa Park.

Tuchel said: “We need negative tests and we have it for Romelu and Callum.

“It’s good news but I’m not over excited now because I need to check how they are.”

Tuchel took a bold decision to hand debuts to teenagers Xavier Simons, Harvey Vale and Jude Soonsup-Bell in the hard fought victory at Brentford.

Defender Marcos Alonso said: “It was a very good game from everyone. It is difficult at this time with so many games and with Covid.

"We like being in every competition and we go for it. Step by step, one at a time and let’s see.

“Even the 17 year olds played a great game today. Credit to everyone, it is not easy. Two days ago they were on holiday and they only had two days of training and you saw the quality they have.

“They come to train with us sometimes, we know them, we see them sometimes. We follow them and we are happy for them to make their debuts.”

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