Tuchel wants Mount in time for Carabao Cup final

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England international Mount limped off in the first half of Chelsea's FIFA Club World Cup final victory against Palmeiras last weekend after damaging ligaments in his ankle.

That was the 23-year-old's 34th appearance of the season in all competitions, level with Antonio Rudiger for the most of any Chelsea player.

Mount's 15 direct goal involvements this season are the most of any Blues player, the England international having scored seven and assisted eight.

Tuchel is therefore eager to get Mount back to fitness in time for the Carabao Cup final with Liverpool at Wembley on 28 February (AEDT).

Asked for an update on when Mount could return, Tuchel said on Friday: "We will push for the EFL Cup final. We will push. 

"He has injured ligaments. Returning against Lille in the [YEFA] Champions League [on Wednesday AEDT] seems very, very close, but we will try hard for the EFL Cup final."

Tuchel also confirmed ahead of Sunday's (AEDT) trip to London rival Crystal Palace that Reece James, who has not played since December, is set to return to training next week.

Cesar Azpilicueta is therefore expected to fill in once again on the right-hand side of the defence against Palace, a week on from lifting the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.

The Spain international has won every trophy available at club level with Chelsea, but he is set to become a free agent at the end of the campaign.

Tuchel remains a big fan of the long-serving defender, who has racked up more than 450 appearances for the club.

"He's always important; he has been super important since day one," Tuchel said. "We had a good connection from the first day.

"He gets better with every game he plays, he leads by example, which is always super nice to have.

"Now he has collected so many trophies and an incredible career at one club which is outstanding.

"He embodies everything that Chelsea stands for, being relentless, humble and a warrior at the same time. I'm happy to have him."


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