Reece James injury: Thomas Tuchel 'worried' by fresh muscle problem

Tom Gott
Reece James is back on the sidelines
Reece James is back on the sidelines / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Chelsea will be without Reece James for Thursday's trip to Norwich after the right-back picked up a muscle injury.

James had only just returned from two months out with a nasty hamstring injury but impressed on his first start since his comeback, bagging a goal and an assist in the 4-0 thumping of Burnley at the weekend.

Unfortunately, Tuchel has now confirmed that James may be set for more time on the sidelines after a fresh injury issue.

"Everybody was on the training pitch today except for Ben Chilwell, of course, and Reece James, who has a muscular problem after his last three games," Tuchel told reporters. "It's not his injured leg, but the other leg. We need examinations, we thought he could be on the pitch today but he couldn't."

The boss continued: "He felt it during the [Burnley] match and that's why we took him out, but it didn't get better. We are worried, but we need more details and more information, so today will be further examinations.

"It's a setback for sure. I hope not a big one."

According to The Athletic, the initial diagnosis is that James will miss the next two weeks. That period covers four games: Premier League clashes with Newcastle and Norwich as well as the Champions League last 16 second leg against Lille and the FA Cup quarter-final against Middlesbrough.

Tuchel also took the chance to temper expectations about the return of Ben Chilwell, who was spotted in individual training on Tuesday as he steps up his recovery from an ACL injury.

"They did a photo, no? I think they did the photo during the one minute he was outside," Tuchel said. "Nobody saw him.

"It was just, the weather made it possible for him to do his exercises outside. They made him smell the grass and get a bit excited, but he's not even close to team training."

On whether Tuchel believes Chilwell will be back for Chelsea this season, the boss said: "No. No chance."