Chelsea star Reece James return pushed back as injury woes deepen for Pochettino

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed Reece James is still some way away from making his return from injury with the hope that he will be back before the next international break. James picked up a hamstring injury in Chelsea’s opening game of the season against Liverpool last month.

Pochettino claimed at the time that James would only be out for a “few weeks”, suggesting the full-back would be ready after the international break. But the Chelsea boss doesn’t want to rush James back for their match against Bournemouth this weekend.

Instead, it appears as though James could face a race to prove his fitness over the next few weeks before the next international break following their match against Burnley. “He’s recovering well,” Pochettino said.

“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.” Chelsea have league games against Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Fulham and Burnley as well as a Carabao Cup tie versus Brighton before the October international break.

But James’ injury woes aren’t the only concern for Pochettino with the Argentine confirming Moises Caicedo is also tough and go on whether he’ll be able to start this weekend. Pochettino added: “Moises [arrived] a bit later than Enzo [Fernandez], so we will need to assess him but we hope so.”

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Both Armando Broja and Benoit Badiashile have also been ruled out of making a return this weekend while Pochettino gave an update on Romeo Lavia’s injury setback. He said: “I think we are really disappointed because he was training really well.

“He twisted his ankle and now we are waiting for Monday to get the assessment from the doctor.”

Carney Chukwuemeka, Trevoh Chalobah, Christopher Nkunku and Wesley Fofana also remain unavailable due to injury. It leaves Pochettino with a depleted squad for their return to action this weekend as they look to get back to winning ways against Bournemouth.

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