Graham Potter has explained surprise Liverpool absence with his injury list set to ease for all-London clash

Chelsea hope Mateo Kovacic will play in the Fulham derby, Wesley Fofana and Raheem Sterling are on the verge of comebacks.

Mateo Kovacic missed Chelsea’s 0-0 draw away at Liverpool due to a minor calf injury, according to Graham Potter.

Unexpectedly, the 28-year-old midfielder was not present for the match at Anfield; however, it was later discovered that he had been injured during the previous weekend’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at home.

Chelsea now has 10 players on its injured list due to Kovacic’s absence. Manager Potter allayed concerns over the Croatian’s fitness, and he expects to have him back for the February 3 match against Fulham at Stamford Bridge in another London derby.

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“He just felt a little bit of tightness in his calf but we are hopeful for Fulham,” Potter told Chelsea TV. “He felt it at the end of the Crystal Palace game.

“That was a blow for us but we coped with it well and that’s a credit to the boys who came in.”

Reece James, Ben Chilwell, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have all resumed training while having their recuperations closely monitored to prevent further damage.

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They have over two weeks to get ready for the Fulham encounter after Manchester City’s elimination of Chelsea from both domestic cup tournaments.

The Blues are hoping that Wesley Fofana and Raheem Sterling will be healthy enough to play again in the next two weeks as they wait for an extraordinary run of injuries to end.

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