Chelsea injury update: Reece James, Kai Havertz and Wesley Fofana breaking news and return dates
Helsea are facing two new fitness issues as they prepare for the resumption of club football this weekend.
The international break has been frustrating for Graham Potter, with Reece James and Kai Havertz both leaving their camps early to return to Chelsea after encountering problems.
The Blues are desperate to hope that none of these issues are serious, with the likes of Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling and Wesley Fofana already in doubt, while Thiago Silva also remains out.
Here is your latest update Injuries at Chelsea and return dates…
James withdrew from his England duties ahead of the Ukraine game as he deals with a hamstring problem, with the right-back under further assessment upon his return to Chelsea.
Gareth Southgate’s comments didn’t suggest the problem was serious but James doubts he will face Aston Villa this weekend
“Reece is back, he’s not completely happy with how his leg feels,” Southgate said. “He was a little worried about it earlier in the week.
“I think, probably for him, injury after injury that ruled him out of the World Cup has made him a bit more cautious at the moment. It probably takes time.
“It’s not uncommon to have a serious injury and then lighter injuries at the back. With Reece, it’s about building up his resilience to the load and feeling comfortable with it.
Germany announced over the weekend that Havertz had left camp and returned home due to illness, with local reports suggesting he was suffering from the flu.
The striker was in fine goalscoring form for Chelsea before the international break, scoring in the Blues’ last three games, and it’s likely he’ll be available to try and make that four in a row against Aston Villa.
Fofana pulled out of the France squad at the start of the international break ahead of their matches against the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland after picking up a problem against Everton.
“Wes Fofana must have come out tired, as he had been away for a long time,” Potter explained after the game. “He felt his hamstring.”
No further update on the situation has been given but it’s not believed to be a serious issue and Fofana could be involved against Villa.
Kante returned to the Chelsea squad ahead of the international break against Everton but did not make an appearance. The Frenchman, however, returned to fitness after undergoing hamstring surgery in October.
“N’Golo needs to continue training on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with potentially a game to give him a few minutes,” Potter said in front of the full-back.
That game went, with Kante for an hour in a 3-0 behind closed doors friendly win over Charlton.
Mount continues to struggle with a pubic bone injury which has forced him to retire from the England squad. The midfielder was first called up by Gareth Southgate, much to Graham Potter’s surprise.
“As far as I know he has never been available,” the Chelsea boss said. “He needed some time for his injury to settle down which pretty much ruled him out of England.”
Assuming there are no more setbacks during the international break, Mount could be in contention to play for the first time since February.
As with Mount, Sterling was not fit enough to be involved with England but could offer Potter an injury boost in the near future.
The striker hasn’t played since Stamford Bridge’s win over Borussia Dortmund, but comments from the Chelsea boss ahead of the international break suggest Sterling’s omission from the England squad was a precautionary measure.
“Raheem has a problem with his hamstrings,” Potter said. “It’s not too serious but he will miss the [match against Everton] and international travel.
Silva picked up a knee injury against Tottenham in late February, with an approximate six-week deadline given at the time.
That would suggest the centre-back is just weeks away from a potential return to the Chelsea squad, with the focus surely on the Champions League. The Blues will face Real Madrid in the first leg of their quarter-final on April 12, with Silva expected to be in contention by then.
Mendy has now returned to full first-team training, having been out since the World Cup after undergoing surgery on a fractured finger.
He should therefore be back in the squad this weekend when Chelsea take on Villa, although Kepa Arrizabalaga is likely to keep his place in goal for now.
Like several of his teammates, Azpilicueta could return against Villa after recovering from a concussion. The defender has not played since the loss to Southampton, where he spent three days in hospital.
Speaking after the game against Everton, which Azpilicueta missed, Potter gave an update on the situation, suggesting the Spaniard shouldn’t be out long term.
“Azpilicueta had a knock in training, he had a problem there,” the Chelsea boss said.
Broja will be out for at least the rest of this season, facing a long spell of inactivity as he recovers from a serious knee injury.
The ruptured anterior cruciate ligament required surgery, and it remains to be seen whether Broja will be back in time for pre-season this summer.