Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that captain Reece James will be out with a hamstring injury for a “few weeks”.
The England international picked up the issue in training after the Liverpool game, and there had been concern that the defender could be sidelined for a number of months. However, at his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon, Pochettino played down those fears:
“We are going to assess him day by day. For sure, it’s going to be as soon as possible with the team. He will become stronger… It’s not about [a] few days, it’s about a few weeks. It’s not a big issue. But most important now is to work really hard, be fully fit and be stronger than before.”
It looks like James has avoided surgery, but a recovery period of 3 to 6 weeks is likely so fans should probably not expect to see him in action before the next international break.
James’s teammate is in the same boat
Trevoh Chalobah wasn’t in the squad for the draw against Liverpool last weekend as he had a tight hamstring and it is believed that he aggravated the problem in training on Monday. The defender could now face a month out on the sidelines.
Having two very similar muscular injuries occur in the space of a few days does again raise question marks about Chelsea’s medical department.
Chelsea have five other players on the treatment table
Armando Broja (knee) and Benoit Badiashile (hamstring) are nearing the end of their rehabilitation programmes so they will be reintegrated into the first-team squad over the coming days and weeks. Neither is expected to feature against West Ham on Sunday, though.
Christopher Nkunku is set to miss three to four months after undergoing surgery on a knee injury, while Wesley Fofana is likely to be out of contention for most of the campaign after sustaining an ACL in pre-season.