Chelsea: Reece James returns to training after injury
Chelsea right-back Reece James returned to training on Tuesday and will be able to play against Everton in the Premier League this weekend, according to a report.
The Lowdown: Difficult season for James
James has dealt with a range of different injury problems this season, missing a total of 16 games due to a recurring knee problem, before more recently being ruled out due to a hamstring issue and an illness.
The right-back missed out on being included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad that went to the World Cup, stating that 2022 has been his ‘toughest year to date’ in the wake of the news.
It has been a very difficult season for the defender up to this point, only being able to make a total of 11 appearances in the Premier League, but he will now be hoping that his problems are finally behind him.
The Latest: Back in training
According to a report from Football London, the 23-year-old returned to training on Tuesday, after not being included in the squad for the Blues’ 3-1 victory against Leicester City last weekend.
In a welcome boost for Graham Potter, the Cobham academy graduate will be able to feature against Everton at the weekend, and he is not the only player in contention for a return to the starting XI.
Both Mason Mount and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are able to play against the Toffees, having also returned to training this week, while Edouard Mendy is said to be making progress in his recovery from a fractured finger.
The Verdict: Boost for Potter
The Englishman was unable to play against Leicester, but he proved his worth in Chelsea’s 2-0 Champions League against Borussia Dortmund last week, making two tackles and five interceptions to keep the German side at bay, in what was a quality performance.
Hailed as ‘unbelievable’ by members of the media, the full-back has endured a very tough times with injuries, but he has impressed whenever he has been able to feature in the Premier League this season, averaging a 7.12 Sofascore rating, the sixth-highest in the squad.
The Blues are quite a way off the top four, currently trailing Tottenham Hotspur by 11 points, but there is still plenty to play for this season, given that they are through to the quarter-final stage of the Champions League.
Potter will need his best players available if Chelsea are to stand any chance of winning Europe’s most prestigious competition for the third time, and with James is firmly in that category, the manager will be delighted he is back available for selection.