Chelsea star Reece James is set to make his return from injury soon, according to injury expert Ben Dinnery.
The fullback has been absent with a hamstring injury which saw him miss the World Cup, but is set to return to full training soon, and could return to the starting lineup for Chelsea’s FA Cup tie against Manchester City in early January.
The 23-year-old has established himself as a crucial starter at Chelsea, and losing him for such a long period was a big blow for Graham Potter.
Speaking to Football Insider, Dinnery revealed that James is not back in full training yet, but will join the rest of the squad to participate in lighter aspects of it, as his injury is one with a high risk of reoccurrence.
“My understanding is he won’t be fully integrated this week, it will just be an opportunity to step up and take part in aspects of first-team training with the rest of the group,”
“That’s probably an indication that he’s still a little bit behind the others.
“With those hamstring problems, there is a high reoccurrence and high re-injury rates. You don’t want to be taking your chances with that.
“Realistically for him, there could be a few appearances from the bench towards the end of the year and then in early 2023 we are looking at him pushing for starts, possibly in the FA Cup.”
TIF thoughts on Reece James…
Welcoming James back will provide a huge boost for Chelsea, but they will need to ease him in carefully.
As Dinnery has stated, they will not want to take the risk of losing him again, and a few substitute appearances before returning to the starting lineup would be a smart move.
The Englishman has made 134 appearances for the club, scoring 11 and assisting 20, and has established himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League.
Chelsea currently sit eighth in the table after a poor start to the season and will need James to return to his best form to stand any chance of a top-four finish.