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Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been out injured since the FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest early this month. The 22-year-old left the pitch in tears as he was forced off with a back injury in the first half of the game.

“It’s not good. I have been struggling with it for the last few weeks,” Loftus-Cheek said as he announced he would be out for several weeks.

“I’m going to have to take some proper time out to make sure it heals properly. I’m gutted.”

Chelsea coach Carlo Cudicini also revealed Loftus-Cheek has been struggling with the back pain.

“We are very sorry for the kid (Loftus-Cheek) to be honest. His impact on the games he played so far has been very good,” Cudicini said about Loftus-Cheek’s injury early this month.

“It’s something that is affecting him and something we need to look at resolving. Obviously, it’s been going on for a while and now he will probably have to stop for a bit to try to resolve it.

Loftus-Cheek was expected to be back in February but the midfielder could feature in Chelsea’s FA Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.

Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola revealed ahead of the game against Sheffield Wednesday that Loftus-Cheek is back in training and could feature on Sunday.

Asked how Loftus-Cheek was getting on with his injury, Zola responded: “Ruben has been back in training with us today. He’s been progressing… honestly I thought it was going to be a little bit longer.

“Tomorrow we’re going to make a decision whether he’s in contention or not. But it looks good.”

Meanwhile, Zola was seen asking players and staff to crouch down during the penalty shootout in Chelsea’s win over Tottenham on Thursday.

Asked why he asked them to crouch down during the penalty shootout, Zola said: “The supporters behind, just next to the bench, couldn’t see and I know what it’s like because I’ve always had taller players in front of me.

“So I did ask the players to stoop down, because there were a couple of kids who couldn’t see the penalties. They didn’t ask me [to bend down].”

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