By Habeeb Kuranga
Chelsea’s fullback, Reece James, had yet suffered another injury when he featured for the first time for the club since October.
The 23-year-old only returned back to competitive football action on Tuesday when Chelsea played Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge. But he was hauled off just seven minutes into the second half in what seemed like a setback to the knee injury he had just recovered from.
While speaking with Amazon Prime Video, Chelsea’s manager, Graham Potter, confessed his ‘disappointment’ to losing the fullback so soon after his recovery.
“Not too much, we’re going to have to see in the next 24 to 48 hours but disappointing to lose him as quickly as we did.” He said.
James has become a vital figure for the Blues since he made his debut for the team after coming through their academy with loan spells at Wigan Athletic. His versatility has been a huge asset for the team, who has deployed him in the centre back and the midfield in the past.
Before the Bournemouth game, Potter, who had rarely called him to action since he was appointed as the boss, was glad to have James back in the fold.
“It’s brilliant (to have him back), he’s a top, top player. We’ve missed him for sure, and although we’ve got a lot of good players, Reece is a high level, any team would miss him. It’s good to have him back, he’s been building up his time, so he probably won’t get 90 minutes today, but it’s nice to have him from the start. Kepa coming in from an injury as well is important for us, and Denis, whenever he’s played, he’s helped us, so it’s again exciting to see him play.”
Recall that James’ knee injury back in October robbed him of a place in Gareth Southgate’s world cup squad. And it seemed as though his injury worries were behind him during the first-half action yesterday, only for him to sustain a setback again early in the second half.