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Tobey Gibson

12. Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Started by Tobey Gibson,

2,636 posts in this topic

Exclusive: Loftus-Cheek plays first game in almost nine months

https://theathletic.com/1582518/2020/02/04/exclusive-loftus-cheek-returns/

LOFTUS-CHEEK-e1580823270153-1024x684.jpg

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has moved one step closer to returning to competitive football after playing 60 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Cobham on Tuesday, his first game in almost nine months.

Chelsea’s development squad used a match against Brentford B to measure the progress of Loftus-Cheek, who has been sidelined since rupturing the achilles tendon in his left leg during a post-season friendly against New England Revolution last May. He started the game and was substituted after an hour, displaying no ill effects from his first match back.

It has been a particularly arduous rehabilitation process for Loftus-Cheek, marked by several setbacks — in contrast to fellow Chelsea academy graduate Callum Hudson-Odoi, who returned to first-team action a little more than five months after also suffering an achilles rupture during a Premier League match against Burnley in April 2019.

Loftus-Cheek’s rupture was more serious than that of Hudson-Odoi, requiring a more complicated surgical procedure to fix and more time for the damaged fibres in the tendon to heal than even he initially realised. He told The Athletic after the 1-0 home defeat to Valencia in the Champions League in September that he expected to be playing again in six weeks.

That timeframe proved too optimistic, but sources have told The Athletic that Loftus-Cheek has recently reported feeling as though he has made a breakthrough in his recovery, and that his left leg is now pain-free. He rejoined first-team training towards the end of last month after a brief spell building up his fitness with the club’s under-16s.

Loftus-Cheek’s successful outing against Brentford B paves the way for him to continue training at Cobham during the February break, with a view to more appearances for the Chelsea development squad. His progress will continue to be monitored closely, and there is no timeframe as yet for his return to contention for first-team matches.

“Where we are having a bit of time off for the players, he won’t, he’ll be working,” Lampard said of Loftus-Cheek last week. “He’ll be with the 23s to try and get some minutes – he’ll have to get some minutes. He’s had a full week of training with us for the first time and he has come through it.

“It’s great to see him but he looks short, he knows he’s short. You couldn’t not be after he has been out for so long. So yes, under-23s progression and hopefully after the break we can talk about him more when he is going to come back into the squad.”

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I am not finding anything that shows he started for the U23 team on Monday. Does anyone know if he was subbed in?

I found this that has the starting lineup.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, ZAPHOD2319 said:

I am not finding anything that shows he started for the U23 team on Monday. Does anyone know if he was subbed in?

I found this that has the starting lineup.

 

 

He didn't play. No mention as to why he was pulled out from it. 

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He didn't play. No mention as to why he was pulled out from it. 
He trained today with the first team, so I guess it is nothing too dramatic

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Lampard on why RLC didn't play the U23 game last Monday and his fitness state (comments before Spurs game)...

https://www.chelseafc.com/en/news/2020/02/22/frank-lampard-on-how-ruben-loftus-cheek-could-be-used-against-to

‘He had a small issue so we felt it wasn’t right to risk him in a game at that time,’ said the boss. ‘It was tiny but it was one of those where we wanted to control him more rather than have him in a 90-minute Under-23s game so we came away from that.’

...

‘He still needs match fitness,’ he explained. ‘By putting him in the squad, we’re hoping he can be an impact if he has to come on because I can already see his abilities out there and what he can bring. I knew them already but to see them first-hand in training has been nice.

‘Can he sustain that over 90 minutes at the moment? No, so we’ll have to work towards that but if he’s on the bench then he’ll have to be ready. If something happens in minute one, you’d maybe consider not doing it but if there is a chance for an impact then we know the quality he can bring.’

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34 minutes ago, killer1257 said:

Played the whole 90 minutes. Won also a penalty

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I hope that he will get some minutes against Everton, not from the start ofc but 20-25 minutes would be enough

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Opponents and Chelsea team-mates not holding back as Loftus-Cheek nears return

https://theathletic.com/1648480/2020/03/03/ruben-loftus-cheek-chelsea-return-injury/?source=weeklyemail

Loftus-Cheek-return-to-action-1024x683.jpg

Not for the first time in recent weeks, Ruben Loftus-Cheek was on the receiving end of a bruising tackle and he walked away with a great deal of satisfaction.

The Chelsea midfielder played his first full 90 minutes since suffering a serious achilles tendon injury last May, featuring in the development squad’s fixture against Everton on Monday night.

One might think Loftus-Cheek would want a nice gentle introduction back into the game he loves after having to spend so long on the sidelines. But this is a young man who wants to put his body on the line, to test what kind of condition it’s in and whether he’s ready for the physicality of the Premier League.

Long after the crowd had left non-League Aldershot Town’s EBB Stadium, the 24-year-old emerged from the dressing room to have another look at the pitch he had just played on.

The England international has appeared at much bigger venues on much bigger occasions but you got the impression this was as satisfying an experience as many of those.

For all the smooth control, nice turns and passes during the contest, the parts of the game he enjoyed most were when he won a 50-50 challenge with Everton’s Ryan Astley, earned a penalty after being tripped by Beni Baningime and climbed up off the turf following a terrible foul just before the end by Matthew Foulds.

Talking to The Athletic afterwards, Loftus-Cheek highlighted how these incidents provided the best indication yet that he is getting in shape to play at the highest level again.

It is not the only time he has been getting some rough treatment. It is understood he has been kicked in some painful places during training with the senior squad — no-one has been ordered to go easy on him. The same can be said for the friendly played behind closed doors against Brentford B a month ago, when he was given an hour as part of his comeback.

Loftus-Cheek knows he still has to work on his match fitness. There were times he drifted out of the contest against Everton’s under-23s as the demands of playing a full game after such a long absence understandably took its toll.

Yet it is a measure of the England international’s ability and likeable personality that his return to first-team training last month was greeted so warmly by team-mates.

Normally, the threat of increased competition might not be welcomed but everyone connected to the senior squad is aware of the midfielder’s importance for the final matches of the season.

Head coach Frank Lampard has already put him on the bench for a couple of first-team games at the end of February against Tottenham and Bournemouth, albeit without using him yet.

It is expected he will continue to be named as a substitute for a while yet, which means there could be more games for the development squad in the near future. On March 16, they play at Blackburn and just over a fortnight later Wolves are the visitors to Stamford Bridge.

A decision will obviously be taken closer to the time by Lampard depending on how much match action Loftus-Cheek has had with the first team but it’s very much a case of so far so good when it comes to his progress.

It is to Lampard’s credit that he is resisting the temptation to rush Loftus-Cheek back too quickly. Chelsea are in desperate need of his goal threat to boost their attack.

Lampard said as much during an interview with the Daily Mail recently. “With the ability that he has got, he is one of the most exciting English midfield players. From the conversations we’ve had, he wants it all,” said Lampard.

“I remember watching Ruben score a hat-trick in the Europa League against BATE Borisov in October 2018. A couple were my kind of goals — six-yard box, bang. Nothing to shout about but I liked it. Ruben’s never been a rack-up-numbers man but I’ll definitely speak to him. Can he get 15, 20 goals in a season? He’s got that in him.”

Lampard’s confident assessment isn’t far fetched. Last season, Loftus-Cheek was the club’s fourth highest goal-scorer with 10 — despite starting  in 17 of his 41 appearances.

One of Chelsea’s main weaknesses under Lampard has been the dearth of goals from midfield — Jorginho (six of his seven are from penalties), Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley have scored only 19 between them in all competitions.

Loftus-Cheek will undoubtedly improve those statistics, however there is an acceptance that the most important thing is to be patient and ease him back slowly in order to avoid any other injuries.

There have been a few setbacks to the recovery process over the last 10 months, including having to pull out of a development squad game against Arsenal in February due to picking up a minor problem. But those Chelsea fans who made the trip to Aldershot’s ground to watch him in action against Everton couldn’t have made their delight at seeing him on the pitch again any clearer.

When Loftus-Cheek first wandered out for the warm-up, the majority of the crowd had yet to appear, so he was barely noticed. By the time he started some shooting drills with under-23s assistant coach Jon Harley though, people had filled the main stand and were there to roar with approval as he drilled the ball into the top corner.

Loftus-Cheek, Chelsea, injury return

An indication of what mood he was in came when he beat one of the Chelsea youngsters in a sprinting drill toward the tunnel and ran off with a big smile on his face.

As the two teams were read out over the speaker system before kick-off, there was a loud cheer when Loftus-Cheek’s name was heard, followed by chants of “Ruben, Ruben”.

For the first six minutes, those same people were silenced as the ball and the game passed the man they so admire by. Loftus-Cheek simply couldn’t get a touch of the ball.

Playing just off the striker Thierno Ballo, Loftus-Cheek gradually began to impose himself on the action. Not every move he tried came off but there were times his class showed as he spun away from a close marker and threaded a ball to someone else in blue.

Where the long lay-off has clearly taken a toll is in the pace department. A few times, he would beat a man with a bit of skill, like when Baningime was nutmegged in the second half, only for another Everton player to get back and tackle him. No-one should be too alarmed — his speed will return the more minutes he gets.

The intelligence after the break to drop deeper to get the ball, as Chelsea’s opponents sat further and further back, meant the home side grew more dangerous because Loftus-Cheek ensured they kept possession in the final third.

He could have scored too but his header from an Ian Maatsen corner in the 71st minute flashed wide of the near post. Encouragingly it was Loftus-Cheek’s quick reactions to a loose ball in the area which led to the penalty, and only goal of the game, scored by Luke McCormick.

There was a quiet hush soon afterwards when he collapsed to the ground in agony following a bad lunge by Foulds. As the physios raced out to treat him, everyone feared the worst but perhaps Loftus-Cheek’s luck is changing as there was no damage and he stayed on until the final whistle.

Obviously there are much tougher tests to come but Loftus-Cheek left the venue clearly believing he has taken another significant step closer to getting back to where he belongs.

killer1257 likes this

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12 minutes ago, Vesper said:

Opponents and Chelsea team-mates not holding back as Loftus-Cheek nears return

https://theathletic.com/1648480/2020/03/03/ruben-loftus-cheek-chelsea-return-injury/?source=weeklyemail

Loftus-Cheek-return-to-action-1024x683.jpg

Not for the first time in recent weeks, Ruben Loftus-Cheek was on the receiving end of a bruising tackle and he walked away with a great deal of satisfaction.

The Chelsea midfielder played his first full 90 minutes since suffering a serious achilles tendon injury last May, featuring in the development squad’s fixture against Everton on Monday night.

One might think Loftus-Cheek would want a nice gentle introduction back into the game he loves after having to spend so long on the sidelines. But this is a young man who wants to put his body on the line, to test what kind of condition it’s in and whether he’s ready for the physicality of the Premier League.

Long after the crowd had left non-League Aldershot Town’s EBB Stadium, the 24-year-old emerged from the dressing room to have another look at the pitch he had just played on.

The England international has appeared at much bigger venues on much bigger occasions but you got the impression this was as satisfying an experience as many of those.

For all the smooth control, nice turns and passes during the contest, the parts of the game he enjoyed most were when he won a 50-50 challenge with Everton’s Ryan Astley, earned a penalty after being tripped by Beni Baningime and climbed up off the turf following a terrible foul just before the end by Matthew Foulds.

Talking to The Athletic afterwards, Loftus-Cheek highlighted how these incidents provided the best indication yet that he is getting in shape to play at the highest level again.

It is not the only time he has been getting some rough treatment. It is understood he has been kicked in some painful places during training with the senior squad — no-one has been ordered to go easy on him. The same can be said for the friendly played behind closed doors against Brentford B a month ago, when he was given an hour as part of his comeback.

Loftus-Cheek knows he still has to work on his match fitness. There were times he drifted out of the contest against Everton’s under-23s as the demands of playing a full game after such a long absence understandably took its toll.

Yet it is a measure of the England international’s ability and likeable personality that his return to first-team training last month was greeted so warmly by team-mates.

Normally, the threat of increased competition might not be welcomed but everyone connected to the senior squad is aware of the midfielder’s importance for the final matches of the season.

Head coach Frank Lampard has already put him on the bench for a couple of first-team games at the end of February against Tottenham and Bournemouth, albeit without using him yet.

It is expected he will continue to be named as a substitute for a while yet, which means there could be more games for the development squad in the near future. On March 16, they play at Blackburn and just over a fortnight later Wolves are the visitors to Stamford Bridge.

A decision will obviously be taken closer to the time by Lampard depending on how much match action Loftus-Cheek has had with the first team but it’s very much a case of so far so good when it comes to his progress.

It is to Lampard’s credit that he is resisting the temptation to rush Loftus-Cheek back too quickly. Chelsea are in desperate need of his goal threat to boost their attack.

Lampard said as much during an interview with the Daily Mail recently. “With the ability that he has got, he is one of the most exciting English midfield players. From the conversations we’ve had, he wants it all,” said Lampard.

“I remember watching Ruben score a hat-trick in the Europa League against BATE Borisov in October 2018. A couple were my kind of goals — six-yard box, bang. Nothing to shout about but I liked it. Ruben’s never been a rack-up-numbers man but I’ll definitely speak to him. Can he get 15, 20 goals in a season? He’s got that in him.”

Lampard’s confident assessment isn’t far fetched. Last season, Loftus-Cheek was the club’s fourth highest goal-scorer with 10 — despite starting  in 17 of his 41 appearances.

One of Chelsea’s main weaknesses under Lampard has been the dearth of goals from midfield — Jorginho (six of his seven are from penalties), Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley have scored only 19 between them in all competitions.

Loftus-Cheek will undoubtedly improve those statistics, however there is an acceptance that the most important thing is to be patient and ease him back slowly in order to avoid any other injuries.

There have been a few setbacks to the recovery process over the last 10 months, including having to pull out of a development squad game against Arsenal in February due to picking up a minor problem. But those Chelsea fans who made the trip to Aldershot’s ground to watch him in action against Everton couldn’t have made their delight at seeing him on the pitch again any clearer.

When Loftus-Cheek first wandered out for the warm-up, the majority of the crowd had yet to appear, so he was barely noticed. By the time he started some shooting drills with under-23s assistant coach Jon Harley though, people had filled the main stand and were there to roar with approval as he drilled the ball into the top corner.

Loftus-Cheek, Chelsea, injury return

An indication of what mood he was in came when he beat one of the Chelsea youngsters in a sprinting drill toward the tunnel and ran off with a big smile on his face.

As the two teams were read out over the speaker system before kick-off, there was a loud cheer when Loftus-Cheek’s name was heard, followed by chants of “Ruben, Ruben”.

For the first six minutes, those same people were silenced as the ball and the game passed the man they so admire by. Loftus-Cheek simply couldn’t get a touch of the ball.

Playing just off the striker Thierno Ballo, Loftus-Cheek gradually began to impose himself on the action. Not every move he tried came off but there were times his class showed as he spun away from a close marker and threaded a ball to someone else in blue.

Where the long lay-off has clearly taken a toll is in the pace department. A few times, he would beat a man with a bit of skill, like when Baningime was nutmegged in the second half, only for another Everton player to get back and tackle him. No-one should be too alarmed — his speed will return the more minutes he gets.

The intelligence after the break to drop deeper to get the ball, as Chelsea’s opponents sat further and further back, meant the home side grew more dangerous because Loftus-Cheek ensured they kept possession in the final third.

He could have scored too but his header from an Ian Maatsen corner in the 71st minute flashed wide of the near post. Encouragingly it was Loftus-Cheek’s quick reactions to a loose ball in the area which led to the penalty, and only goal of the game, scored by Luke McCormick.

There was a quiet hush soon afterwards when he collapsed to the ground in agony following a bad lunge by Foulds. As the physios raced out to treat him, everyone feared the worst but perhaps Loftus-Cheek’s luck is changing as there was no damage and he stayed on until the final whistle.

Obviously there are much tougher tests to come but Loftus-Cheek left the venue clearly believing he has taken another significant step closer to getting back to where he belongs.

After reading this, I have no expectations of him starting a match until the end of the month of early April. 

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Opponents and Chelsea team-mates not holding back as Loftus-Cheek nears return
https://theathletic.com/1648480/2020/03/03/ruben-loftus-cheek-chelsea-return-injury/?source=weeklyemail
Loftus-Cheek-return-to-action-1024x683.jpg

Not for the first time in recent weeks, Ruben Loftus-Cheek was on the receiving end of a bruising tackle and he walked away with a great deal of satisfaction.

The Chelsea midfielder played his first full 90 minutes since suffering a serious achilles tendon injury last May, featuring in the development squad’s fixture against Everton on Monday night.

One might think Loftus-Cheek would want a nice gentle introduction back into the game he loves after having to spend so long on the sidelines. But this is a young man who wants to put his body on the line, to test what kind of condition it’s in and whether he’s ready for the physicality of the Premier League.

Long after the crowd had left non-League Aldershot Town’s EBB Stadium, the 24-year-old emerged from the dressing room to have another look at the pitch he had just played on.

The England international has appeared at much bigger venues on much bigger occasions but you got the impression this was as satisfying an experience as many of those.

For all the smooth control, nice turns and passes during the contest, the parts of the game he enjoyed most were when he won a 50-50 challenge with Everton’s Ryan Astley, earned a penalty after being tripped by Beni Baningime and climbed up off the turf following a terrible foul just before the end by Matthew Foulds.

[/url]

Talking to The Athletic afterwards, Loftus-Cheek highlighted how these incidents provided the best indication yet that he is getting in shape to play at the highest level again.

It is not the only time he has been getting some rough treatment. It is understood he has been kicked in some painful places during training with the senior squad — no-one has been ordered to go easy on him. The same can be said for the friendly played behind closed doors against Brentford B a month ago, when he was given an hour as part of his comeback.

Loftus-Cheek knows he still has to work on his match fitness. There were times he drifted out of the contest against Everton’s under-23s as the demands of playing a full game after such a long absence understandably took its toll.

Yet it is a measure of the England international’s ability and likeable personality that his return to first-team training last month was greeted so warmly by team-mates.

Normally, the threat of increased competition might not be welcomed but everyone connected to the senior squad is aware of the midfielder’s importance for the final matches of the season.

Head coach Frank Lampard has already put him on the bench for a couple of first-team games at the end of February against Tottenham and Bournemouth, albeit without using him yet.

It is expected he will continue to be named as a substitute for a while yet, which means there could be more games for the development squad in the near future. On March 16, they play at Blackburn and just over a fortnight later Wolves are the visitors to Stamford Bridge.

A decision will obviously be taken closer to the time by Lampard depending on how much match action Loftus-Cheek has had with the first team but it’s very much a case of so far so good when it comes to his progress.

It is to Lampard’s credit that he is resisting the temptation to rush Loftus-Cheek back too quickly. Chelsea are in desperate need of his goal threat to boost their attack.

Lampard said as much during an interview with the Daily Mail

 recently. “With the ability that he has got, he is one of the most exciting English midfield players. From the conversations we’ve had, he wants it all,” said Lampard.

“I remember watching Ruben score a hat-trick in the Europa League against BATE Borisov in October 2018. A couple were my kind of goals — six-yard box, bang. Nothing to shout about but I liked it. Ruben’s never been a rack-up-numbers man but I’ll definitely speak to him. Can he get 15, 20 goals in a season? He’s got that in him.”

Lampard’s confident assessment isn’t far fetched. Last season, Loftus-Cheek was the club’s fourth highest goal-scorer with 10 — despite starting  in 17 of his 41 appearances.

One of Chelsea’s main weaknesses under Lampard has been the dearth of goals from midfield — Jorginho (six of his seven are from penalties), Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley have scored only 19 between them in all competitions.

Loftus-Cheek will undoubtedly improve those statistics, however there is an acceptance that the most important thing is to be patient and ease him back slowly in order to avoid any other injuries.

There have been a few setbacks to the recovery process over the last 10 months, including having to pull out of a development squad game against Arsenal in February due to picking up a minor problem. But those Chelsea fans who made the trip to Aldershot’s ground to watch him in action against Everton couldn’t have made their delight at seeing him on the pitch again any clearer.

When Loftus-Cheek first wandered out for the warm-up, the majority of the crowd had yet to appear, so he was barely noticed. By the time he started some shooting drills with under-23s assistant coach Jon Harley though, people had filled the main stand and were there to roar with approval as he drilled the ball into the top corner.

Loftus-Cheek-Chelsea-Everton-scaled-e1583229253398.jpg

An indication of what mood he was in came when he beat one of the Chelsea youngsters in a sprinting drill toward the tunnel and ran off with a big smile on his face.

As the two teams were read out over the speaker system before kick-off, there was a loud cheer when Loftus-Cheek’s name was heard, followed by chants of “Ruben, Ruben”.

For the first six minutes, those same people were silenced as the ball and the game passed the man they so admire by. Loftus-Cheek simply couldn’t get a touch of the ball.

Playing just off the striker Thierno Ballo, Loftus-Cheek gradually began to impose himself on the action. Not every move he tried came off but there were times his class showed as he spun away from a close marker and threaded a ball to someone else in blue.

Where the long lay-off has clearly taken a toll is in the pace department. A few times, he would beat a man with a bit of skill, like when Baningime was nutmegged in the second half, only for another Everton player to get back and tackle him. No-one should be too alarmed — his speed will return the more minutes he gets.

The intelligence after the break to drop deeper to get the ball, as Chelsea’s opponents sat further and further back, meant the home side grew more dangerous because Loftus-Cheek ensured they kept possession in the final third.

He could have scored too but his header from an Ian Maatsen corner in the 71st minute flashed wide of the near post. Encouragingly it was Loftus-Cheek’s quick reactions to a loose ball in the area which led to the penalty, and only goal of the game, scored by Luke McCormick.

There was a quiet hush soon afterwards when he collapsed to the ground in agony following a bad lunge by Foulds. As the physios raced out to treat him, everyone feared the worst but perhaps Loftus-Cheek’s luck is changing as there was no damage and he stayed on until the final whistle.

Obviously there are much tougher tests to come but Loftus-Cheek left the venue clearly believing he has taken another significant step closer to getting back to where he belongs.

Yeah, he was fouled couple of times and one tackle was bad. I would actually do not want him to play that much more minutes for the U23 where he gets fouled in meaningless matches.

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