'Won't be involved': Graham Potter says 23-year-old will definitely not play for Chelsea against Liverpool

Graham Potter has claimed in his pre-match press conference that Reece James will not be involved in the Premier League match with Liverpool this weekend.

That’s despite the England international being seen in training this week as he looks to return from his knee injury.

James was originally ruled out during a Champions League win at the San Siro, and the eventual diagnosis was far worse than first feared.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

He was eventually forced to miss the World Cup in Qatar, where he will have certainly been an important part of Gareth Southgate’s thinking.

It was hoped the extended lay off would see him be fit and firing for the return of club football, and this looked the case as he was handed a start against Bournemouth in the first game back.

However, just moments after half-time, the 23-year-old went down in pain, with the look on his face a real worry for Potter and Chelsea fans alike.

James ruled out for Liverpool

He was ruled out for another few weeks, with the Blues again struggling to find a suitable replacement for him.

That was why there was an added optimism around the club when photos and videos from Cobham showed James back in action.

Nevertheless, it appears the big game at Anfield has come too soon for him, with Potter confirming him and fellow wing-back Ben Chilwell will not be present.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

He said: “Ruben was on the bench in the last match but he’s a lot closer now. Reece has joined team training but won’t be involved at the weekend. Same for Ben Chilwell.”

The former Leicester City man has not been seen since November, but also returned to first team training this week.

This could see another start at left-back for highly-rated Lewis Hall, although the challenge of facing Mohamed Salah is one that would certainly test the teenager’s ability at this level.

Jack is a writer for The Chelsea Chronicle. He has been a part of GRV Media since June 2022. He has a First Class Honours degree in Football Journalism from the University of Derby, graduating in 2021. Jack has experience working freelance for The Sun and The Athletic, whilst also being published for the Non-League Paper and reporting for Burton Albion's academy side. He is a lifelong Chelsea fan and will debate with anyone about everything and anything football related. He also holds a passion for gaming and music, and thinks he knows every word to every Oasis song ever released