Chelsea ‘need to get to the bottom’ of injury problems – Potter

Graham Potter admits he is baffled by Chelsea’s mounting injury list and says it is important the club get to the bottom of why so many players are sidelined.

The Blues, who slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Fulham and down to 10th on the Premier League table, saw midfielder Denis Zakaria limp off with a thigh injury at Craven Cottage after new signing Joao Felix was sent off on his debut.

Zakaria joins Edouard Mendy, Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Raheem Sterling, Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja on the unavailable list for Sunday’s home clash with Crystal Palace.

Felix, who joined this week on loan from Atletico Madrid until the end of the season in a deal worth almost £10m, will miss the next three games after receiving a straight red card following a reckless challenge on Fulham right-back Kenny Tete.

“We are looking all the time and need to know why the injuries are happening and evaluate the whole thing,” Potter said.

“It’s difficult when you are halfway through the season to know how things have happened.

“It’s bad luck but also a learning curve for us going forward and how we can put it right. There is not even a pattern, it’s different problems.

“It’s tricky. It’s not like we are over-training or anything like that. We need to get to the bottom of it.”

Felix will not be available to return until the trip to West Ham on February 11 and Potter admits it’s bitterly disappointing after the Portuguese playmaker showed some encouraging flashes before his dismissal.

“It’s hugely disappointing, because he came here to play,” Potter said.

“You could see his quality on the pitch against Fulham and to lose him for three games is a huge blow to us.”