Chelsea has suffered a significant injury setback , with the confirmation that defender and captain Reece James sustained a hamstring injury during their Premier League defeat to Everton on Sunday. The right-back, returning to action for the first time since November 25, was forced to leave the pitch after just 26 minutes in the 2-0 defeat, reports Xinhua. “Scan results have confirmed a hamstring injury,” the Chelsea website reported, noting that James will commence his rehabilitation.
The 24-year-old’s recent seasons have been marred by injuries, limiting him to just 24 Premier League appearances since the beginning of the 2022-23 campaign. He also missed the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year due to a knee ligament injury. James previously sustained a hamstring injury in the season’s opening game in August and didn’t return until October. While the club has not specified the duration of his current absence, it’s improbable he will recover in time for Chelsea’s congested fixture schedule over the Christmas period.
Chelsea’s injury woes are compounded by a lengthy list of sidelined players, including Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Romeo Lavia, Christopher Nkunku, Trevoh Chalobah, Malo Gusto, and Carney Chukwuemeka, presenting challenges for coach Manuel Pellegrini in attaining team consistency. Presently 12th in the league table, Chelsea has accrued only 19 points from 16 games. The team has experienced three losses in their last four matches, conceding 10 goals in those games and a total of 14 in their last five encounters.