Belfast Telegraph

Silva vows to support Chalobah with Watford midfielder set for knee surgery

Watford coach Marco Silva accepts it is "difficult news" to have to plan without Nathaniel Chalobah, who is set to undergo surgery on a knee injury.

The 22-year-old completed a £5.5million move from Chelsea in the summer and had impressed in the opening matches of the new Premier League campaign.

However, the Hertfordshire club confirmed earlier this week the midfielder now faced a spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury during training.

Chalobah was called into the senior England squad for the last 2018 World Cup qualifiers and had expected to be included in Gareth Southgate's plans again for the upcoming final round of fixtures as the Three Lions look to secure their place in Russia.

"It is difficult news for us," Silva said at a press conference ahead of Saturday's trip to West Brom.

"It is a pity to us as a team and most of all a pity for the boy, but this is football.

"Now is the moment we need to support him and put him in good condition to help him return as soon as possible.

"It is a difficult situation, (but) we need to find a solution, to be strong and be strong in our way."

Chalobah had started all five Premier League games under new head coach Silva before the injury forced him to sit out last weekend's win at Swansea.

"In two months with us, he has achieved important things with us," Silva added.

"He did well, with good performances, and the national team coach called him up.

"Now it's important to be calm, for him to recover and after show again his football."

Watford are keen not to put an exact timeline on Chalobah's recovery programme, but performance director Gavin Benjafield suggested the player could be reintegrated into the squad "well before the New Year".

Silva is remaining hopeful over the midfielder's rehabilitation.

"We already did one appointment as a club and we expect that (recovery time), but we will see what will happen," said Silva, who will have defender Miguel Britos available again following a three-match suspension for the trip to The Hawthorns.

"You never know what will happen, it is a matter of recovery, sometimes in one week everything can go well, then after you can go back again.

"We expect that, more or less this date, but we will see after the surgery and when he starts to make his rehabilitation ."

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