MATEO KOVACIC has dealt Chelsea another blow after testing positive for coronavirus just a DAY after returning to training following his hamstring injury.
The ex-Real Madrid midfielder had been in contention to feature against Leeds on Saturday after six weeks on the sidelines.
Chelsea have been struggling with a number of injury problems in recent weeks with Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku all missing.
Kovacic's return was a welcomed boost for Tuchel with the Croatia international missing the last eight games.
He suffered that in the last minute of a training session back in October.
But he has now contracted coronavirus, with Tuchel describing the news as a huge setback.
Speaking ahead of the West London outfit's Champions League clash against Zenit Saint-Petersburg, Tuchel said: "We have bad news.
"Mateo was in training yesterday and with a big smile and it was a pure pleasure to have him back.
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"But he tested positive today, for coronavirus, so he's quarantining for a few days.
"So it's a huge setback for him personally and for all of us."
Tottenham have at least seven players and two members of staff to test positive for Covid this week.
And Tuchel has commented if there is extra concern at Cobham about the potential rise in cases.
He remarked: "Yes, I was aware that this can happen, me personally.
"I'm not happy not only as a manager but also as a person.
"But this is the reality at the moment, we have to face it to be ready to adapt and to do the best thing possible to avoid transmission."
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