Chelsea handed huge boost as Reece James returns to training

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Reece James has made his long-awaited return to Chelsea training after seven months on the sidelines.

The injury-hit Blues captain has made just eight Premier Leages this season and underwent on a hamstring issue towards the end of last year.

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But manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed the 24-year-old is back in training with his team-mates and could even feature in Chelsea’s trip to Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

It also gives the right-back an outside chance of proving his fitness and form ahead of England’s European Championship campaign this summer.

Pochettino said: “We need to see today but maybe he can be available in the squad, yes.

“The most important thing is that he is going to be with us. Always to have your captain is a massive boost for any team. We have an amazing relationship and he is amazing player.

“It’s not easy when you come back from a long-term injury. The most important thing is for him to be available and be part of the squad and if he can play five, 10, 15 or 30 minutes it will be amazing.

“It’s unlucky there are only three games left.”

https://x.com/ChelseaFC/status/1788857184039637160

Joining James on the comeback trail is Lesley Ugochukwu, who has not made an appearance since Christmas Eve.

Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez remains ruled out but is stepping up his recovery, Levi Colwill, Malo Gusto and Christopher Nkunku all vying for a start after returning against West Ham.

It reduces the Blues’ injury to just six players, with Sanchez joined by Enzo Fernandez, Wesley Fofana, Carney Chukwuemeka, Romeo Lavia and Ben Chilwell.

European ambitions

Chelsea are making a surprise late push for Europea after seven points from their last three games saw them climb to seventh ahead of games against Forest, Brighton and Bournemouth.

On the West Londoners’ European prospcects, Pochettino added: “It is important for every single club. It’s true it’s going to be hard.

“To get us the most [points] I think is to recreate the performance and replicate the way we play and being focused.

“Of course, we know very well we need to win games in the last three games. We then have a possibility to move into a place to play in Europe.

“The team is ready to face the last three games and it is important for us to be in Europe – of course we are focusing on the next game.”

Cian Cheesbrough
Cian Cheesbrough
Cian is a sports journalist with a wealth of experience writing for national titles, including LiveScore, MailOnline, Eurosport and Sky Sports. He has covered a number of key events during his time in the industry, including from the press box at live Champions League fixtures.

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