England defender Ben Chilwell’s World Cup hopes could be in jeopardy after picking up a hamstring injury in the closing stages of Chelsea’s 2-1 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb.
Blues boss Graham Potter admitted he was worried about the left-back after he pulled up at Stamford Bridge just minutes before the final whistle.
Chelsea were behind thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and debutant Denis Zakaria after Bruno Petkovic put the Croatians ahead, but Chilwell’s injury spoiled the evening.
Potter, who told BT Sport it was a hamstring problem, added in his post-game press conference: “(It’s) not great. Of course if it boots up like that it’s a concern so we’ll have to scan it but at the moment it doesn’t look positive.
“It’s a blow to us on an otherwise positive night, I think. It’s a blow to see him pull up like that, it’s not a great sight.
“So we’re crossing our fingers when we get the scan, it’s not serious, it can’t be serious but we have to keep our fingers crossed at the moment. But we are clearly disappointed.”
Chilwell, who later left the ground on crutches, did not start in his side’s 4-1 win at Brighton at the weekend and the club coped with his workload after recovering from a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Potter believes the setback could hurt the defender’s hopes of being part of Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad – England play their first game of the tournament in Qatar on November 21 against Iran.
“I think it would have to be said (that it’s a concern for the World Cup),” Potter said.
“Obviously I don’t want to say more, but when a player pulls up like he did and he felt it, it’s never positive.
“He didn’t play at the weekend. There was a thought that he could play tonight and have enough time to recover for the weekend.
“So we tried to manage him, he never played the three games in a week, he had to build up, it was good for him.
“That makes it very frustrating. It’s a blow to us and a blow to him and unfortunately he won’t be the only one to be so affected at this time because October was incredibly challenging, the games we had to play but it is what it is .”
Zagreb coach Ante Cacic was proud of his players even though they left Europe after starting bottom of the table and Salzburg needed a win and a loss to reach the Europa League play-offs.
“I think the final result and fourth place in our group is realistic – the reputation of all other teams is very high. Chelsea and Milan always play in these competitions,” he said.
“I think Dinamo have shown very brave performances throughout the competition.
“Our players are proud and they should be proud of how they played throughout this competition.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/ben-chilwell-bt-sport-england-graham-potter-champions-league-b2216478.html World Cup concerns for Ben Chilwell as he picks up a hamstring injury in Chelsea win