Reece James, Trevoh Chalobah: Chelsea injury round-up ahead of Plymouth Argyle FA Cup tie

Chelsea have certainly benefited from their mini break that has helped Thomas Tuchel’s side recharge after a difficult festive fixture schedule that saw the Blues play the most games in all competitions out of the ‘big six’.

The European champions lost vital ground in the Premier League title, picking up only three wins in their last 11 games.

They did, however, claim the three points in their latest London derby just before this break against Spurs, courtesy of goals from Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva respectively.

A win that came at a much needed time with reports surfacing that a number of the attacking players aren’t happy with manager Tuchel and his treatment of certain players.

However, this break has allowed for time to be a healer in that sense with vital games on the horizon in the FA Cup, Premier League and Club World Cup respectively.

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“We decided we would give two days off to de-connect a little bit but the two days alone doesn’t solve everything,” Tuchel informed the media.

“It was good to have, and after the Tottenham game we have another chance to give the majority of the players another two days off, because we simply need it.”

Time that was very much taken but with the Plymouth game only now two days away, the team have returned to training and there are a few familiar faces present that have been missing in recent times.

With that in mind, rounds up all the injury latest ahead of the fourth round tie at Stamford Bridge on Saturday February 5th at 12:30pm.

Reece James

The right-back was expected to be side-lined for the large majority of the season after sustaining a hamstring injury in the Brighton home game two months ago.

There was talk that someone like Sergino Dest could be required by the Englishmen has made a quick than expected return, but the 22-year-old is expected to return for the Club World Cup trip next week.

Tuchel confirmed this development in his pre-Spurs press conference before the mini-break: “We have a time frame [for James] but we will not make it public because otherwise we will just get asked about the timescale.

Reece James has been a hugely important figure under Thomas Tuchel
Reece James has been a hugely important figure under Thomas Tuchel

“He is back on the pitch, that’s the good news but he’s still in individual training, so far away from being part of the squad on Sunday’s game.”

Expected return date: Al Hilal/Al-Jazira/Pirae (Club World Cup) Wednesday, February 9.

Trevoh Chalobah

The centre-half played through the pain barrier against Liverpool in December and has suffered as a consequence of his ongoing injury woes.

However, he was back in the squad among the subs for the clash against Tottenham, and has now been pictured in training ahead of Plymouth this weekend as he aims to get back into the fold ahead of the trip to Abu Dhabi.

“Trevoh Chalobah is back in team training but also way too early to play the game on Sunday at this kind of level,” Tuchel said ahead of the win over Tottenham, though he did take a place on the bench.

Expected return date: Plymouth Argyle (FA Cup- Saturday, February 5.)

Andreas Christensen

Central defender Andreas Christensen recently tested positive for coronavirus, but the Denmark international should have recovered in time to be a part of the squad this weekend.

He contracted Covid in the build-up to the Man City loss during December but with the time off, he has recovered and as per the Evening Standard, was pictured in training alongside Chalobah.

“And we have one positive Covid test with Andreas Christensen, so he is out for the game.” Tuchel said at the time.

Off the pitch, Christensen’s future is still up in the air with Bayern Munich hot on his pursuit ahead of a potential free transfer switch in the summer amid a contractual stand off in SW6.

Expected return date: Plymouth Argyle (FA Cup- Saturday, February 5.)

Ben Chilwell

Ben Chilwell has undergone surgery on his knee injury, meaning that the Chelsea defender will not be available for selection until next season.

He suffered the injury in the Juventus home Champions League game and it was understood he would be replaced temporarily by a new left-back signing that was expected in the January transfer window.

However, despite the likes of Lucas Digne, Layvin Kurzawa and Borna Sosa being linked, Marina Granovskaia focused all attentions on Emerson Palmieri to no avail in the end, understands.

Now, returning loanee Kenedy and academy graduate Lewis Hall will be given the chance to fill in whilst Chilwell makes his recovery.

The £50million man had been pictured recently with full-back companion James at Cobham working in the gym as he slowly tries to get his muscles back into shape before even thinking about running.

Expected return date: N/A

Christian Pulisic, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy

All three of the trio have been busy in the last few days competing on the international stage for USA, Brazil and Senegal respectively.

Pulisic and Silva are now free to return to west London, but Mendy still has an Africa Cup of Nations Final to look forward to this weekend.

Despite the imminent arrivals back into the country, the outfield pair are unlikely to feature in this FA Cup tie, considering the tight turn around and the jet lag factors.

Expected return date for all three: Al Hilal/Al-Jazira/Pirae (Club World Cup- Wednesday, February 9.

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