Chelsea suffered a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, and we also suffered a casualty, when Reece James was forced off with an injury in the first-half. He was replaced by Thiago Silva, with César Azpilicueta deputizing at wing-back from then on, and Andreas Christensen sliding wide right in the back three. The defense didn’t miss a beat, but James’ attacking impetus was perhaps missed later on in the game.
James appeared to get hurt just ten minutes into the match, in winning a 50-50 against Jack Grealish. Initially, it looked like James could play on, and he did for almost another 20 minutes. But eventually it became clear that he couldn’t.
He did limp off under his own power — and also left the stadium without anything more serious than a bandage — but Thomas Tuchel confirmed after the match that it was a “very painful” problem and didn’t exactly sound too optimistic about it not being an issue.
“I don’t know about Reece at the moment. He twisted his ankle and it was very painful for him. I have no other news on him at this stage but let’s see how he is in the next few days.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Chelsea FC
Twitter seems convinced that it’s a high ankle sprain, which could mean a month or two out, but obviously they’re just basing that off what could be seen on television. Hopefully we’ll know more in the next couple days as Tuchel says. Either way, even if it’s just a minor twist or sprain, James is unlikely to be back until after the international break at the earliest.
#CFC Reece James had classic “high ankle sprain” mechanism w/ ankle forcibly twisted outwards & physio was examining that region (see pic). @NizaarKinsella reporting he left bandaged but no boot which likely means no fracture but MRI still needed. Typically 4-6 wk recovery pic.twitter.com/2hcD9tlOp1— Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT (@3cbPerformance) September 25, 2021