March 09, (THEWILL) – Chelsea will be without Reece James for the trip to Norwich on Thursday, according to Thomas Tuchel, after the right-back suffered a muscle injury.
James had only recently returned from a two-month layoff, due to a hamstring injury and he made an immediate impact with a goal and an assist in the 4-0 thrashing of Burnley over the weekend.
Unfortunately, Tuchel has confirmed that James will likely spend more time on the sidelines as a result of a new injury.
“Everybody was on the training pitch today, except for Ben Chilwell, of course, and Reece James, who has a muscular problem after his last three games”, Tuchel said to the media. “It’s not his injured leg, but the other leg. We need examinations, we thought he could be on the pitch today, but he couldn’t.”
The boss continued: “He felt it during the [Burnley] match and that’s why we took him out, but it didn’t get better. We are worried, but we need more details and more information, so today will be further examinations.
“It’s a setback for sure. I hope not a big one.”
Tuchel also used the opportunity to moderate expectations regarding Ben Chilwell’s return, who was seen in individual training on Tuesday as he continues to recuperate from an ACL injury.
“They did a photo, no? I think they did the photo during the one minute he was outside. Nobody saw him. It was just, the weather made it possible for him to do his exercises outside. They made him smell the grass and get a bit excited, but he’s not even close to team training.”
Tuchel said of Chilwell’s chances of returning to Chelsea this season: “No. No chance.”