Reece James injury could be worse than thought, admits Mauricio Pochettino | Football

Reece James has not played since December (Picture: Getty Images)

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino admits that he doesn’t know whether Reece James will play again this season, but is hopeful the full-back will return before the end of the campaign.

The 24-year-old has made just eight Premier League appearances this season and last played in December before suffering a serious hamstring injury.

Injury problems have plagued the career of the England international and this is proving to be his worst campaign so far in terms of fitness, with just six starts in all competitions so far.

Those figures may well not improve as Pochettino could not confirm that the club captain will play again this season.

‘No, I don’t know,’ Pochettino said on James’ possible return this season. ‘It’s difficult to say something because I don’t want you to go “but, oh, [you said this].”

‘We will assess it week by week and we will see. We hope yes, we hope that he will be available for the end of the season.’

James himself teased on social media last month that he was stepping up a return in training, posting a picture of his boots, but progress is clearly slow.

It certainly seems that any distant hopes of making it into England’s squad for Euro 2024 this summer are over.

Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Romeo Lavia has been confirmed to miss the rest of the season (Picture: Getty Images)

It has been a season riddled with injuries for the Blues, with summer signing Romeo Lavia ruled out for the season earlier this week after making just one senior appearance.

The likes of Christopher Nkunku, Wesley Fofana, Levi Colwill and Carney Chukwuemeka are all also out and Pochettino admits the constant fitness issues are a concern.

‘Yes, but it is not the moment to talk,’ he said. ‘Of course, we are professional. Nobody can underestimate this organisation. We know why, but we cannot explain.

‘I think we have a really good organisation that we are trying to fix all the problems and also have the players available. But always it is a process. Like a process to play well, it is a process to get the results, it is a process to fix the situation.’

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