Chelsea will be without England International Reece James for the next four weeks after he sustains an injury during Chelsea’s Premier League game against Bournemouth.
It is the second time this season Chelsea will be missing the 23-year-old through a knee injury. James was injured for eight weeks before the World Cup and only returned to full-time action against Bournemouth.
Chelsea manager Graham Potter has revealed that it is normal to lose players through injury at this time of the season because of the nature of the schedule. He insisted that missing players through injury is not an excuse and they’re going to do everything to win their game against Nottingham Forest as they did against Bournemouth.
What did Graham Potter say?
Asked how difficult it is to reshape the Chelsea team without Reece James, Graham Potter said at a Press Conference: “If you go back to the Newcastle game, we had no Kepa, no Reece, no Wesley [Fofana], no Ben Chilwell, we lost Marc Cucurella with illness overnight, lost Ruben Loftus-Cheek after two minutes, had no [N’Golo] Kante, lost Cesar Azpilicueta after 20 minutes, and also had no Raheem Sterling. That was simply the period we were in, and we still have quite a few guys that are out.
“But that is the challenge of being in multiple competitions; there were multiple games in a short space of time with the World Cup coming up. Something I reflected upon during the break was when Ben, for example, gets injured, the effect that has on everyone. They are looking and thinking, ‘could I be next? Could I miss the World Cup?’ So it was difficult.
“Again, I’m not making excuses. I’m just telling you to want I think of the situation. We have to deal with it. The break hasn’t been a positive one for us and I could’ve made lots of excuses had the result [against Bournemouth] not gone our way because we had four [senior] players for the first two weeks, then players dripping back in and the break people think we have to work with the players isn’t there. But you can’t make those excuses, you just have to win. And we did [against Bournemouth] so that’s good.”
Chelsea are expected to welcome Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech into the team in their game against Nottingham Forest.
Asked if their availability makes things easier, Potter added: “Absolutely. I think when we played the Milan away game, we had Reece, N’Golo was getting close and we were thinking he could be available, but then he has an injury at the backend of his rehab and then we lose Reece, we go from a healthy position to a not so healthy position.
“Our job is to try to get as many people back as we can. It’s been a really tough period, as challenging as there has been in my time as a coach. But we’re Chelsea and people don’t want to hear those reasons/excuses. We have got to get on with it and try our best to find the answers.”