Chelsea are likely to be without the attacking talents of both Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic for their Premier League match away to Newcastle United on Saturday lunchtime.
Havertz was the most expensive arrival in a busy summer for Frank Lampard's side, joining an attacking lineup Pulisic, a fellow former Bundesliga star, has been a part of since making his debut for Chelsea at the start of the 2019/20 season.
The pair have started just three games alongside one another all season, drawing against Southampton, Sevilla and Manchester United in the space of seven days. Pulisic was ruled out of the following Premier League game, away to Burnley on 31 October, during the warm-up. Havertz tested positive for COVID-19 a few days later.
Even after a two-week hiatus, neither Pulisic nor Havertz is likely to return for Chelsea's first match back from the international break against Newcastle, according to The Athletic. The injury Pulisic picked up at the end of October is thought to be a recurrence of the strain which forced him to be substituted during the FA Cup final against Arsenal in August and is set to sideline the USA international for as long as two more weeks.
Havertz played no part in Chelsea's last two fixtures before the November internationals after testing positive for COVID-19, but has been allowed to resume training. However, after being restricted to a limited exercise regime while isolating at home, the report claims he is unlikely to feature at St James' Park as a precaution ahead of a congested schedule.
Thiago Silva, a fellow summer arrival, is also a doubt for Saturday's lunchtime kick off. The 36-year-old is only due to arrive back in England on Thursday after playing the full 90 minutes in two matches for Brazil in the space of four days. After the October internationals, Lampard left Silva out of the squad which recorded a helter-skelter 3-3 draw at home to Southampton.