Reece James is back in Chelsea training after recovering from an ankle injury that kept him out of the club's pre-season preparations after requiring surgery on the problem.

The defender enjoyed a fruitful spell for Wigan Athletic last season, earning himself a place in the Championship Team of the Season after impressing for the Latics during his season-long loan from the Blues.

Such was the 19-year-old's form, Frank Lampard opted to retain the youngster in his first-team squad instead of sending him out on another loan spell this season. However, with the right-back looking set to feature during pre-season, he suffered damaged ligaments in his ankle during the Toulon Tournament and had to undergo surgery - ruling him out of the start of the season.

Working his way back to fitness, ​Chelsea confirmed on their official ​Twitter page that the promising talent is now back in training following his lengthy period on the sidelines.

After such a rip-roaring campaign in Lancashire last term, James was widely tipped to rival Cesar Azpilicueta for a starting berth at full-back - a move that could see the Spaniard deployed in central defence.

Reece James

His appreciation by Lampard was made all the more clear after the ​Premier League side sanctioned the loan departure of fellow right-back Davide Zappacosta to Roma during the summer transfer window.

James' return will act as a welcome boost to Lampard who has seen his side endure a difficult start to his life as a top-flight manager. Chelsea currently sit in 11th in the Premier League table - with a goals difference of minus three - after picking up just five points from their opening six matches.