The long wait to see Reece James in action for Chelsea is getting closer to its end, with the 19-year-old returning to first-team training today, Wednesday, as the Blues reconvened after the international break to begin preparations for this weekend’s match away at Wolves.
Some might call it a “crutch drop”.
James has been out of contention since June, when he picked up an ankle injury during international duty with England Under-20 national team at the Toulon Tournament. The initial outlook was that he would not need surgery. Unfortunately, that would not be case and he went under the knife one month later.
Initially given a three-month recovery timeline, the surgery extended that a little bit, but he’s still almost on track.
As we have seen with N’Golo Kante, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Willian, and Antonio Rüdiger just this summer, a return to training isn’t the same thing as being ready for match action. James will need some time to get up to speed and get fully match fit. Hopefully that won’t take too long. Perhaps he will be ready for some minutes this Friday, even, when the U23 team take on Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge (a game in which Callum Hudson-Odoi’s set to play as well).
Either way, we just need a bit more patience as Chelsea continue to get slowly healthier.