Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel is optimistic Edouard Mendy will be fit to play in the Champions League final and is prepared to give the goalkeeper until Friday to prove it if need be.
Tuchel has also joked that he will avoid asking Chelsea’s doctors about N’Golo Kante’s fitness for the entire week, so that nobody can deliver any bad news about the club’s key midfielder who he also hopes to have available.
Mendy was forced off at half-time in Chelsea’s final-day Premier League defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday after injuring his rib by colliding with the post while trying to stop the hosts’ first goal.
But a scan has revealed no serious damage and Tuchel is now hoping Mendy will be able to start training on Wednesday, even though he is ready to give him until 24 hours before Saturday night’s final against Manchester City in Porto.
“For Edu, maybe the update is that we still have hope that he joins training on Wednesday and he joins the group,” said Tuchel. “We had huge improvement in the management of pain, so we need a further update on Wednesday, but we hope to have him back in training on Wednesday.
“Edu will play if he is fit and if he is not fit on Wednesday, we will try on Thursday. And we will try on Friday and be always reasonable and take the responsibility for this decision.
“At the same time, we have trust that if he cannot make it we have a strong guy on the bench with Kepa, who will take his place. So now the race is on.
“We are very happy first of all that the images don’t show that the injury is too serious. At the moment we are positive, but every hour counts and, hopefully, the team around Edu and he himself can do enough and can help him enough to be on the pitch. It will be a good boost for us.”