Head coach Graham Potter is ‘hopeful’ that a knee injury sustained by Chelsea defender Reece James against AC Milan will not keep him sidelined in the long term.
During the second half of Chelsea’s 2-0 victory at San Siro in the Champions League, the right wing-back was forced to hobble off after struggling to shake off an issue that he had picked up minutes earlier.
With Chelsea still having nine games to play before the World Cup, Potter will naturally have concerns over whether James will be available for any of those fixtures.
Furthermore, the 22-year-old is regarded as a key player in the England squad and will not want to miss the upcoming tournament in Qatar.
James will undergo a scan on the injury over the coming days, but Potter has hinted that the problem may not be as bad as initially feared.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference, the Englishman said: “We’re hoping he’ll be ok. We’ll need 24 to 48 hours. We’ll know more after that.”
Goals from Jorginho and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured maximum points for the Blues, the opener coming from the penalty spot after former Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori had been sent off for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.
Commenting on the dismissal, Potter told BT Sport: “It’s hard from where I’m sitting. It looks like he had his hand on him and Mason Mount was through on goal. I need to look again clearly. It’s nice for the penalty and nice for Jorginho to score. It was a nice move to lead to it. It is what it is. Sometimes they go for you
“It’s tricky. You want to control the game but not to be too passive. With the atmosphere here, one action can result in a goal, the stadium erupts and they feel like they have an extra man.”
With two matches remaining, Chelsea now sit at the top of Group E, although just three points separate the West Londoners to bottom-placed Milan.
Chelsea will qualify for the knockout stages if they can defeat Red Bull Salzburg in Austria on October 25.