Chelsea release statement over Reece James injury after Everton blow

News Desk
Chelsea defender Reece James
Reece James has picked up a hamstring injury.

Chelsea have confirmed skipper Reece James sustained a hamstring injury in Sunday’s 2-0 Premier League defeat at Everton.

The England right-back was one of three players who went off injured for the visitors during the Premier League contest at Goodison Park, along with goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and left-back Marc Cucurella.

A statement on Chelsea’s official website on Tuesday said: “Captain Reece James has undergone medical assessment following Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Everton.

“The defender was withdrawn during the first half at Goodison Park and scan results have confirmed a hamstring injury. Reece will now begin his rehabilitation programme at Cobham.”

Speaking after Sunday’s match – about his disappointment at losing the 24-year-old to injury – Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino emphasised James’ importance, describing him as “one of the best full-backs in the world”.

Pochettino also said Sanchez had departed due to a knee issue, and Cucurella because of a twisted ankle.

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Those problems add to an already-lengthy injury list for the west London club, who are 12th in the table.

Pochettino believes Chelsea need more transfer window surgery in January to lift them out of the malaise which has left them 12th in the table and well adrift of Champions League qualification.

A 2-0 loss at Everton was their seventh Premier League defeat of the season and bridging the 14-point gap to Manchester City in fourth looks near-impossible for a side short of goals and consistency.

Chelsea have spent over £1billion in the last three transfer windows but many of those preceded Pochettino’s summer arrival and he wants his own players in to help kick-start his Stamford Bridge rejuvenation.

“This was a game to win. It’s a problem we need to check. We need to talk and to try and improve in the next transfer market,” he said.

“We are dealing with this. After five months, or the first half of the season, we need to check and that’s the reality. If we are not aggressive enough (on the pitch) maybe we need to do something.”

Asked specifically about the coming window he added: “Some movement. That’s a thing to analyse with the sporting director and the owner and see what we can do to change the dynamic and improve the second half of the season.

“Our reality now is mid-table and if we want to go up we have to push ourselves. When the transfer window opens (we will) see what we can do.

“I’m not saying I’m going to ask for more players or less players but it is to see if perception matches reality.

“If perception here (indicating one point on a line) and reality is here (indicating another point) then we are missing something in the middle. Sometimes it’s good, a reality check.

“It is a new project, a new team with too many circumstances against us. That’s the reality, too many problems and circumstances from the beginning of the season.

“It’s not as easy to build something new, that is why it is about being strong in that we assess and be clever and take decisions to try to improve in the second part of the season, to be more competitive and get the results a club like Chelsea deserves.”