Good news as gives positive update on Reece James injury ahead of Man City clash

Good news as gives positive update on Reece James injury ahead of Man City clash

Reece James continues to train on his own at Cobham as Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea side prepare to take on Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday. The club captain hasn’t played since December 10, when he was taken off after just half an hour against Everton.

James underwent surgery on a hamstring issue that has plagued his past few years in the aftermath of his latest setback and is now looking to get back to his very best. There are no suggestions that he is yet close to an imminent return to competitive action though as he remains in individual training as seen in photos published by the club.

The 24-year-old has been working outdoors at the club’s Cobham training base regularly in the past month and is often seen taking part in solo work. There had been initial hope that he would be able to play again in April, four months after his surgery, but that has been increasingly unlikely for a while.

Now, on Wednesday night James took to Instagram once more to update fans on his progress, writing, “I’ve been gone a while, but I’m doing well,” he posted on his story. “Really well. The journey has been long and tough, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I’m in a good place. The comeback is on, more hungry than ever. Stay well in the meantime and see u soon.”

James is described as having ‘continuted his rehabilitation programme’ during training. He is seen running away from a coach with a fitness band tied around him, pulling him back.

Chelsea take on Pep Guardiola’s FA Cup holders on Saturday at Wembley, the second game at Wembley for Pochettino this season after the Carabao Cup defeat to Liverpool in February. James also missed that game, though he was in attendance alongside other long-term absentees.

There is still no current timeline for his full comeback as Chelsea enter the last four weeks of their season. They have seven Premier League games left to play as they seek to push on into the European places. There is also the chance of another trip to Wembley if they overcome City this weekend.

Whether or not James will be fit enough to play any role in the end-of-season battles is unclear. Pochettino said last month he was hopeful of having first-choice right-back available at some stage before the summer but the head coach has often been proven wrong by consistent setbacks to his players this season.

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

This came after James’ initial steps back onto the grass at Cobham. “It’s tough for a player with a very complicated and difficult season for him,” Pochettino added. “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.”

For now, James will have to watch on while his teammates do the business, but seeing the skipper in training once more under the sun is only a good sign for Chelsea. He has only played nine times in all competitions so far this year, comfortably the least in his professional career, and is on course to complete less than 500 minutes.

James remains a serious doubt to make Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2024. He hasn’t played for the Three Lions since March last year and his last start was in September 2022. He missed the World Cup through injury and has struggled to recover ever since.

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