Chelsea News

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reveals real reason why Reece James has been slow to recover from his injury


Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is hoping that Reece James rejoins team training this week but the game against Lille on Tuesday night might just come too soon for the defender.

James limped out of Chelsea’s 1-1 draw against Brighton at Stamford Bridge back in December and despite the medical team’s effort to get him back, it was later confirmed he would be out for around two months.

His absence added to that of English left-back Ben Chilwell who has also been ruled out for the rest of the season after picking up a knee injury against Juventus back in November 2021.

Injury to the dependable duo resulted in the club making an attempt to bring back Emerson Palmieri from Lyon but the French club held on to the Italian left-back, pointing to the agreement between the two clubs.

The South West London side did manage to bring back Brazilian winger Kenedy who has yet to taste game time since returning to Stamford Bridge during the January transfer window.

There had been strong indications that Recce James, who was spotted in Abu Dhabi as Chelsea stormed to their Club World Cup triumph, would be ready for the Champions League knockout game against Lille tomorrow night.

But his manager Thomas Tuchel revealed the 22-year-old caught a flu which slowed his recovery plus the nature of his big muscles has meant his general healing process has been longer than initially anticipated.

Tuchel told the press when asked about the possibility of James returning to team training: “I had the feeling right from the very start that we had to deal with a big injury and unfortunately, my feeling was right. We had a little bit of a setback because he caught the flu in the moment when he was very close to rejoining team training.

“You always have the risk with a very physical player like Reece, a big muscle injury sometimes there is a delay in the comeback.

“It has been a long time now. We have been speaking for about seven weeks, eight weeks.

“I know that everybody in the physical department is doing an excellent job, so once he is in team training we can rely on the fact that he did a lot and he is ready to be under a certain amount of pressure and of freedom of movement and acceleration. Otherwise they will not make him free for team training.”

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