Chelsea captain Reece James was forced off midway through the first half of the 2-0 defeat to Everton at the weekend.
Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that it is a recurrence of a hamstring injury. The manager revealed back in October that they were trying to avoid surgery, but it seems clear a major decision will have to be made to protect the player’s long-term fitness.
Robert Sanchez also had to be substituted at Goodison Park. The Spaniard was carrying a knee injury before the match against the Toffees, but he was unable to complete the full 90 minutes and he is now a major doubt for the Sheffield United fixture on Saturday.
Marc Cucurella was taken off at the same time as Sanchez, and Pochettino has said that the fullback twisted his ankle, so it remains to be seen if he can make it back to play versus the Blades.
Christopher Nkunku is still not deemed fit to return. The attacking midfielder requires more time to recover from a knee injury he sustained in preseason.
Updates on the fitness of 8 other Chelsea players
Noni Madueke and Lesley Ugochukwu both suffered “minor” injuries after the Brighton win earlier this month, but neither were in the matchday squad to play Everton on Sunday. It will be hoped that they will return to full training this week.
Romeo Lavia (ankle) is said to be near to making his comeback, having spent the last three months on the sidelines, while Malo Gusto is in the same boat having suffered a knee injury in the last international break.
Ben Chilwell has been pictured back out on the training pitch, having seemingly stepped up rehabilitation from a hamstring injury he picked up at the end of September.
Less is known about the state of Carney Chukwuemeka’s fitness. He has been doing gym work after suffering a setback in his recovery from a knee problem in October. Trevoh Chalobah (hamstring) and Wesley Fofana (ACL) are long-term absentees.