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Maurizio Sarri Says Pedro's Shoulder Injury Unlikely to Be 'Very Serious'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2018

Chelsea's Pedro Rodriguez (C) is assisted as he leaves the field during the UEFA Europa League Group L football match between PAOK Thessaloniki and Chelsea at Toumba stadium in Thessaloniki on September 20, 2018. (Photo by Sakis MITROLIDIS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)
SAKIS MITROLIDIS/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has said the club are hopeful the injury suffered by Pedro on Thursday against PAOK in the UEFA Europa League is not "very serious."

The forward appeared to be in severe discomfort as he came off the field with a shoulder problem in stoppage time, casting doubts over whether or not he would be available for the Premier League clash with West Ham United on Sunday.

Sarri said he wasn't totally aware of the extent of the issue, although said the early indications didn't suggest it was too significant, per Dan Ripley of the MailOnline.

"I don't know," said the Italian after his team's 1-0 win. "The problem is shoulder, but I don't know exactly the situation. I have spoken with the doctor, but only for a few seconds. The doctor told me that probably it's not a very serious injury."

Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press

According to Goal UK, the Chelsea manager went on to say that Pedro is now a doubt for the London derby on Sunday and "a doubt for both Liverpool games"; the Blues meet the Reds in the League Cup on Wednesday and then the Premier League the following Saturday,

Pedro suffered the injury late in the game when he contested for the ball with PAOK goalkeeper Alexandros Paschalakis. The 31-year-old was clearly in pain after the challenge, as physios tended to his shoulder and arm following the collision.

The problem was a big blemish on what was otherwise a comfortable night for Chelsea. Willian's goal early on proved to be the difference between the two sides in the game, but this was a match the Blues dominated for long spells.

That was despite Sarri making numerous changes to the usual starting XI, including leaving star man Eden Hazard out of the squad entirely. With the matches coming up, Liam Twomey said he was shocked to see Pedro and Willian on the pitch for the full 90 minutes of this one:

Liam Twomey @liam_twomey

I’m very surprised both Pedro & Willian will play the full 90 mins here, given that at least one of them will be required to start against West Ham on Sunday #cfc

Pedro has appeared rejuvenated this season under Sarri, rediscovering some of the form that made him such a threat during his years at Barcelona.

This season he's started all but one of the Blues' competitive games, offering a vibrant and energetic presence down the right flank. Pedro has also been productive, netting three goals in the Premier League already this season; he only managed four in the competition in the entirety of 2017-18.

Losing him for a spell of matches would represent a blow, although as noted by Sachin Nakrani of the Guardian, Chelsea have a high-class replacement in Willian:

Sachin Nakrani @SachinNakrani

Willian has been outstanding so far tonight - his movement and ability with the ball leaving PAOK's defender in a spin. And to think, Antonio Conte didn't fancy him. *shakes head*

With Europa League and League Cup fixtures to negotiate in addition to Premier League games, this spell of the season will test Sarri's ability to rotate his squad effectively. So far it's been plain sailing for the former Napoli boss, picking up five wins from five in the top flight.

Pedro has been crucial to the way the side have attacked rivals with such verve early in the new boss' tenure and after his return to form fans will be delighted he doesn't appear set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

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