Mauricio Pochettino says Reece James is ‘desperate’ to help Chelsea, but has confirmed his captain won’t be back on the pitch just yet.
But alongside James’ exact return date being unknown, the Blues also have another star joining James on the growing list of sidelined players, too.
James has been out of action since he picked up a hamstring injury in the opening 1-1 draw against Liverpool last month.
At the time, the England defender was expected to be out for a ‘few weeks’. However, Pochettino has now pushed James’ return back.
“He’s recovering well,” Pochettino said in his press conference on Friday ahead of the trip to Bournemouth. “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.”
As if the agonising wait for James’ return wasn’t enough, Pochettino also confirmed summer signing Romeo Lavia will remain unavailable, too.
The £58m midfielder is yet to make his Chelsea debut since joining the club from Southampton last month, and he is set to continue waiting to get his first Blues appearance under his belt.
When asked about Lavia, Pochettino said: “We’re really disappointed because he was training really well. In the international break, he twisted his ankle.
“We hope it’s not a big issue. It’s a sad situation because he was nearly fit to be involved. We don’t know how long he’ll be out for. We need to assess.”
Armando Broja and Benoit Badiashile are also not ready for a return yet.
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