Graham Potter issues injury update on SIX Chelsea stars ahead of Bournemouth clash, including Reece James


    Chelsea FC Training Session
    Reece James missed the 2022 World Cup with a serious knee injury (Photo by Harriet Lander – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

    Graham Potter has revealed that seven Chelsea players will be unavailable for their Premier league return against Bournemouth, thanks to injury and World Cup fatigue.

    The Blues host the Cherries on December 27th in their first competitive match since the end of the World Cup.

    Ahead of the tournament, Potter was already dealing with a rather extensive injury list, and with 12 Chelsea players returning from Qatar, the manager has somewhat of a selection headache ahead of him.

    In his pre-match press conference on Friday, Potter confirmed that Hakim Ziyech and Mateo Kovacic are unavailable due to Morocco and Croatia reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup.

    He said: ‘We’re still waiting on Hakim and Mateo. ‘They went to third and fourth place [in the World Cup], played the game as well.

    ‘It’s a big demand for them, they won’t be available for the game as a consequence.’

    While this was expected, it was hoped that several of the players injured before the finals would be fit in time for the Bournemouth clash but sadly for Chelsea fans this has not proven to be the case.

    Chelsea FC v AC Milan: Group E - UEFA Champions League
    Wesley Fofana is a few weeks away from returning to action (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

    Striker Armando Broja has already been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury sustained in the recent friendly against Aston Villa, while the game appears to have come too soon for the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ben Chilwell.

    There was some more positive news though, as Potter was able to give timeframes on how long Wesley Fofana and N’Golo Kante would be out for with the pair struggling with recurring knee and hamstring issues respectively.

    Among all the doom and gloom, the Blues have received one huge boost with Reece James now available after recovering from the knee injury that ruled him out of the England squad for Qatar 2022.

    ‘Wesley just had a little setback which can sometimes happen at the very last stage of the rehab, so a couple of weeks, he won’t be available for the game,’ Potter added.

    ‘Armando is a big loss in terms of the time he is out. Still without Ruben, still without Ben Chilwell, obviously Kante. He’s a while. He’ll be end of February, or the start of March.

    ‘[Edouard] Mendy has had a couple of days training with us. Reece is back in. He’s been training with us and completed 65 minutes in the week.’

    MORE : Frank Lampard says Everton can match Chelsea and Manchester United target Jordan Pickford’s ambition

    MORE : Graham Potter sends message to Chelsea outcast Hakim Ziyech

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