Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell has returned to England training after being forced off with a back spasm in the side’s 2-0 defeat to Belgium on Sunday.
The 23-year-old appeared in some discomfort shortly before half-time at Leuven’s Den Dreef stadium and had to be replaced by Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.
Despite being unable to continue, Chilwell was confident it was just a minor issue and Chelsea have been keeping close tabs on the full-back’s fitness ahead of their clash with Newcastle this weekend.
And while Chilwell trained with his England team-mates on Tuesday, Gareth Southgate will be tempted continue with Saka at left-back versus Iceland given the Three Lions can no longer qualify for the Nations League finals.
Asked about Chilwell’s back problem shortly after England’s loss, Southgate said: ‘He had some sort of issue with his back that he was complaining about and he didn’t feel he could carry on.
‘Outside of that I can’t give you any detail at the moment.’
According toTelegraph reporter Matt Law, Chilwell believes the back spasm may have been brought on by the excessive travelling he’s had to do for club and country over the last few weeks.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was also forced off in Belgium at the weekend and Southgate expressed his concern that clubs will now be putting pressure on their players to miss Wednesday’s dead rubber.
‘We will find out a lot now because for sure there will be pressure from some clubs on their own players,’ the England manager added.
‘That is what we live with constantly but we have players who want to play for England and we have pride in the way we play and we want to finish well.’
Should Chilwell fail to recover in time for Chelsea’s trip to St James’ Park, one of either Emerson Palmieri or Cesar Azpilicueta will likely start in the Englishman’s place on the left side of Frank Lampard’s defence.
Chilwell has quickly settled into life in west London following his summer move from Leicester City, racking up two goals and two assists in his opening ten appearances for the Blues.
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