AS Roma have named both Kevin Strootman and Stephan El Shaarawy in their 19-man travelling squad for Wednesday night's (18 October) Champions League trip to Chelsea, handing head coach Eusebio Di Francesco a timely and sizable double fitness boost.
Long-serving midfielder Strootman missed the 1-0 defeat to in-form Serie A leaders Napoli on Saturday and previously withdrew from the Netherlands squad for thefinal pair of 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Sweden. This came after he lasted just 30 minutes of his side's victory over 10-man AC Milan on 1 October.
Roma's official medical report said that the injury-plagued former Manchester United target was suffering from the after-effects of bruising in his left thigh and would be "monitored on a day-by-day basis" after beginning a rehabilitation programme.
Winger El Shaarawy featured for 78 minutes against Milan and, having initially been sidelined for Italy's disappointing draw with Macedonia in Torino, was introduced as a very late second-half substitute during a slender win over Albania that saw the lacklustre Azzurri secure their status as top seeds for Tuesday's play-off draw.
Examinations conducted upon his return to Rome revealed evidence of a "muscular oedema in his right adductor longus muscle" that kept El Shaarawy out of the squad to face Napoli. The 24-year-old was also considered as day-to-day and, like Strootman, has now been deemed fit enough to feature against Chelsea in a Group C clash at Stamford Bridge.
"Midfielder Kevin Strootman is among Roma's 19-man travelling party for Wednesday's Champions League clash against Chelsea," the Giallorossi confirmed via their official website.
"Strootman returns to availability after missing the weekend defeat against Napoli, having suffered an injury prior to the international break. Stephan El Shaarawy also returns to the squad after missing the weekend match, while [right-back] Rick Karsdorp also travels for the first time in the Champions League."
While Strootman and El Shaarawy have both travelled to London, centre-back Kostas Manolas is absent after sustaining a grade one strain of his left thigh muscle against Napoli. Forwards Patrik Schick and Gregoire Defrel are dealing with their own thigh issues, while Brazilian left-back Emerson Palmieri ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on the final day of the 2016-17 season and later underwent arthroscopic surgery.
As for Chelsea, Antonio Conte has confirmed that prolific summer signing Alvaro Morata is in contention to play against Roma after returning to training following a hamstring injury. However, midfield duo N'Golo Kante (hamstring) and Danny Drinkwater (calf) both remain sidelined along with latest casualty Victor Moses (also hamstring).