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Chelsea defender Reece James returns to light training after lengthy lay-off

Chelsea captain Reece James has commenced light training following hamstring surgery in December, according to The Athletic

The England international hopes to be back in full training within a month and is targeting involvement in the end-of-season run-in for the Blues.

However, club management has warned him to be cautious regarding his rehabilitation.

James has been absent since limping off the field 27 minutes into Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat at Everton on December 10

It was his second stint on the sidelines this season. He had struggled with a hamstring issue earlier in the campaign. 

The 24-year-old full-back missed nine matches after being substituted in the opening-day draw against Liverpool.

This injury recurrence is particularly concerning for the Chelsea faithful, given James’ history of setbacks. 

He missed the 2022 World Cup with a knee injury and suffered a repeat of the issue when he returned to action in December that year. 

His hamstring troubles also limited him to 16 Premier League appearances last season.

Despite the club’s cautious approach, James remains optimistic about his return. 

Summer signing Malo Gusto has been impressing with James sidelined, filling the void and potentially cementing the right-back berth.

Gusto has made 17 Premier League appearances and stood out in FA and League Cup matches.

The 20-year-old has helped the Blues keep two clean sheets in the league and provided four assists.

James now faces a fight to regain his position from the former Lyon man, who has arguably been Chelsea’s second-best signing of the summer after Cole Palmer.

The England defender will not be ready for this weekend’s clash with Manchester City but will hope he can help the club as they strive to finish in one of the European places.

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