Chelsea set for Reece James injury boost with Thomas Tuchel hopeful over Mason Mount for Carabao Cup final

Chelsea set for Reece James injury boost with Thomas Tuchel hopeful over Mason Mount for Carabao Cup final

Reece James is nearing a return for Chelsea, with the wing-back set to take part in full training next week.

The 22-year-old has not played since sustaining a hamstring injury in December but has stepped up his recovery in recent weeks.

After suffering a setback during the Premier League winter break when suffering from flu, there is confidence he will be back in action next month.

Thomas Tuchel is also hopeful Mason Mount will be available for the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool at the end of the month after damaging ankle ligaments in the Club World Cup showpiece last weekend.

But the imminent return of James is a huge boost to the Chelsea manager as he bids to secure a top-four finish in the second half of the season.

Reece James has been absent for Chelsea since December due to a hamstring injury (AFP via Getty Images)
Reece James has been absent for Chelsea since December due to a hamstring injury (AFP via Getty Images)

Tuchel said: “It is too long for all of us. For Reece, for us, we miss him a lot.

“I had the feeling right from the very start that we had to deal with a big injury and unfortunately, my feeling was right. We had a little bit of a setback because he caught the flu in the moment when he was very close to rejoining team training.

“You always have the risk with a very physical player like Reece, a big muscle injury sometimes there is a delay in the comeback.

“He is still in individual training, progressing a lot, doing almost everything you can do in individual training and we are waiting for him. The plan is he will rejoin the group next week.”

Tuchel would not set a potential return date, but James is expected to be close to contention once he comes through full training.

“It is a long time now,” added Tuchel. “”We are speaking about seven weeks, eight weeks.

“I know that everybody in the physical department is doing an excellent job, so once he is in team training we can rely on the fact that he did a lot and he is ready to be under a certain amount of pressure and of freedom of movement and acceleration. Otherwise they will not make him free for team training.”

Mount was substituted after 31 minutes of Chelsea’s victory over Palmeiras last weekend.

Mason Mount suffered an ankle problem during the Club World Cup final win over Palmeiras (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Mason Mount suffered an ankle problem during the Club World Cup final win over Palmeiras (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

The injury is expected to keep him out for two weeks, which means the Wembley showdown with Liverpool at the end of the month is a possibility.

Tuchel added: “We will push for the League Cup final, we will push, and he has injured ligaments in the very first minute of the final unfortunately.

“So the Champions League (against Lille on Tuesday) seems to be very, very close and we’ll try hard for the League Cup final.”