"He's in a brace for four weeks to stabilize the knee, then it's rehab" - Graham Potter provides update on Chelsea star Reece James

Graham Potter updates Chelsea supporters on Reece James fitness
Graham Potter updates Chelsea supporters on Reece James fitness

Chelsea boss Graham Potter has offered an update on the fitness of Blues and England defender Reece James.

The 22-year-old full-back injured his knee during the Blues' recent UEFA Champions League victory over AC Milan. Chelsea announced that James would endure a lengthy lay-off as he recuperates from injury, with his FIFA World Cup place in serious doubt.

Potter was asked about the defender's fitness and how he is recovering from the setback, as the manager told his press conference (per Football.London):

"He's in a brace for four weeks to stablise the knee, then it's rehab. That will take eight weks we think. That's the latest."

The latest update will cause further concern for James' World Cup prospects, with England's first game set to take place against Iran on November 21. James has been a crucial member of Gareth Southgate's side in recent months. He is capable of playing full-back, wing-back or on the right-side of a three-man defense.

James' absence is also a major concern for the Blues, who are not blessed with options to play on the right-side of defense. Cesar Azpilicueta is the most natural option, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount have been used there in recent weeks.

Chelsea take on Manchester United next at Stamford Bridge on October 22, with the hosts just one point above Erik ten Hag's side in fourth-place.

Chelsea boss Graham Potter expecting tough game against Manchester United

The 47-year-old tactician has already beaten the Red Devils once this season, as he guided Brighton & Hove Albion to victory on the opening day of the campaign. However, Potter recognizes that he will face a much tougher test on Saturday, as United begin to develop under Erik ten Hag.

The Blues boss further added in his press conference:

"It wasn't a great start but they've battled back, got points and are playing well. It will be a tough game."

He added:

"They've changed a bit how they build-up, bit more direct but at the same time they have the quality. They have the threats of Rashford, Anthony, Sancho, Fernandes. But they've adapted more to each other and learned more about the competition."

Chelsea have an excellent recent record at home against Manchester United, having not lost any of their five previous encounters. Potter will be hopeful that his team can bounce back from a disappointing goalless draw against Brentford last time out.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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