James returns, Nkunku boost as Palmer avoids Chelsea injury scare in dream 11-day break

By Staff

Chelsea ended their last match before the international break in the perfect way by reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup where they will meet Manchester City. Another four-goal haul with some brilliant cameos from Carney Chukwuemeka and Noni Madueke provided fans with plenty of reasons to be excited.

However, there is now an eleven-day break before their clash with Burnley at Stamford Bridge on March 30. In attendance for Mauricio Pochettino’s post-match press conference, football.london saw the Argentine happy for the gap, ending the presser with: “Good break, international break.”

There is reason for the positivity with the time away a chance for Chelsea to welcome back several players who have been missing. Ben Chilwell for example returned to the group and came on as a substitute despite having another recent issue and has been called up for Gareth Southgate’s England friendlies.

There remain some long-term absentees who will not be back after the break with questions over Wesley Fofana, Levi Colwill, Romeo Lavia and Lesley Ugochukwu. Christopher Nkunku however continues his recovery from a hamstring injury he picked up at the end of last month.

“I think he suffered a problem in his hamstring and we will see in a few weeks if he can be again available,” he said. “A little bit unlucky, bad luck because to suffer another setback.

“It’s always tough for a player that didn’t play too much during the season that also came from the Bundesliga with some problems. He was so good in the pre-season. It’s a difficult season for him. It’s difficult to accept another injury and to delay to play more.”

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A few weeks could potentially mean the end of March or the start of April and a dream scenario would see the Frenchman indeed come back for then. The other key figure out is, of course, Reece James.

“We were talking and he has started his recovery, one day closer to being with the group,” Pochettino said on James last week. “This is really positive and we’re all positive around him, we are going to help.

“It’s tough for a player with a very complicated and difficult season for him. Now’s the process to start to recover and it’s one day less until he’s part of the group. The most important thing is to start to solve the problem and help him to be strong.”

There is a feeling that James could be back next month and after this break seeing James return to take part in some training sessions would be a huge boost. football.london will be across the England international’s recovery and bring an update when we have one.

As mentioned Chilwell joins up with Southgate’s squad alongside teammate Cole Palmer. International breaks always come with their level of jeopardy and fans sitting with fingers crossed that their players come away without any issues.

Perhaps none more so however is Palmer. The summer signing has been by far the best player in the Chelsea team this season and is due to make yet another senior international appearance and the hope will be he, unlike so many other Chelsea players, avoids any fitness concerns.

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