Chelsea captain Reece James has confirmed he is still recovering from a hamstring injury.
The defender has not played since the opening day of the season and, when asked about his potential return to first-team action, he replied:
“My job is to play football and I want to be able to help the team, but I can’t do that at the moment, so right now my job is to get fit as quickly and as safely as possible.”
“I want to get back out there soon, but it’s also important to make sure that it’s the right moment so that when I do come back, I’m in a position to continue the season without any problems later on.”
James is back outside running but he has yet to start full training with the rest of his teammates, so there is no chance he will be available for the two games this week against Brighton and Fulham.
Benoit Badiashile is nearing match fitness. The defender did have a minor setback in his recovery from his own hamstring issue, but he could soon be available for selection.
Carney Chukwuemeka is also closing in on a return from the knee injury he sustained in the 3-1 defeat to West Ham last month.
Updates on the fitness of 6 other Chelsea players
Noni Madueke has been spotted back in training. The winger was not in the matchday squad for the loss to Aston Villa after sustaining a muscular injury but he should be back in contention for starts.
Marcus Bettinelli (knee) and Romeo Lavia (ankle) are not expected to make their comebacks before the next international break, while there is still uncertainty about when Trevoh Chalobah will be ready to play again after a hamstring problem
Christopher Nkunku (knee) is likely to be on the sidelines for another few months, while Wesley Fofana (ACL) is not expected to play again this season.