Antonio Conte clarifies Christensen injury and availability for Arsenal clash

Antonio Conte has revealed Andreas Christensen suffered a contusion, not a concussion, and will be available for the game against Arsenal.

Referee Jon Moss ordered Christensen off the pitch in the first half of the Brighton game as the defender appeared to be struggling with a head injury.

Christensen clashed with the back of Shane Duffy’s head, but was assessed by the Chelsea medical team and cleared to continue.

Minutes later the centre-back was being substituted with a suspected concussion, which under Premier League rules would have ruled him out of the EFL Cup clash with Arsenal on Wednesday.

But, Conte insisted after the game that Christensen had suffered a ‘contusion’ or bruising, and would be ready to play against Arsenal.

‘For Andreas it was a simple contusion,’ Conte told the BBC.

‘The referee asked him, no? This substitution. But honestly the player did not want to come off.

‘When you have another player like David Luiz, yeah, I decided to make a change. The player is OK. He is available for the next game, for the next training.’

Christensen did not complain when the referee escorted him off and did seem to suffering some ill effects of the head injury.

Chelsea 2017/18 Fixtures

Arsenal (A) – Wed Jan 24 (EFL Cup)

Bournemouth (H) – Wed Jan 31

Watford (A) – Mon Jan 5

West Brom (H) – Mon Feb 12

Barcelona (H) – Tues Feb 20

Manchester United (A) – Sun Feb 25

Chelsea will be relieved the injury is not a concussion, with the Blues already sweating over the fitness of Thibaut Courtois.

The goalkeeper missed the Brighton game due to an ankle injury and is a doubt for the Arsenal showdown.

The semi-final tie is up for grabs after a goalless in the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

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