Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has stated that Reece James is still a long way from returning from injury, but he hopes to be back before the next international break.
James suffered a hamstring injury in Chelsea’s season opener against Liverpool last month. Pochettino stated at the time that James would be out for a few weeks, implying that the full-back would be available after the international break.
But Pochettino does not want to rush James back for their encounter against Bournemouth this weekend.
Instead, it appears that James will have to show his health in the coming weeks before the next international break following their game against Burnley. “He’s recovering well,” Pochettino said.
He discussed James’ injury in his pre-match press conference for West Ham, saying: “I think it’s a sad moment because he’s our captain. He was so excited to be a captain, full of energy. I think we are going to assess him day-by-day as well as possible. For sure, he is going to become stronger than he was, we are going to help him to become stronger than before.”
“He is starting to do things on the pitch with the ball. He’s really well. He’s desperate to return and help the team.
“I hope he’s close and hope he can be available before the next international break.” Before the October international break, Chelsea has league games against Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Fulham, and Burnley, as well as a Carabao Cup meeting against Brighton.
But James’ knee issues aren’t Pochettino’s only concern, with the Argentine saying Moises Caicedo also struggling and it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to start this weekend. “Moises arrived a bit later than Enzo Fernandez, so we will need to assess him,” Pochettino added, “but we hope so.”