Reece James is in contention for tomorrow night’s Premier League against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, according to Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard, after the injury sustained by the young right back in the defeat away to Newcastle United on Saturday evening turned out not to be as bad as initially feared.
Lampard said that James, who signed a new long-term contract last week, sustained a blow to the back of his right knee but having departed St James’ Park with a heavy limp could be fit to start against Mikel Arteta’s side.
Marcos Alonso will also return to the matchday squad following a lower back and upper glute injury.
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The Spanish left back had received interest from Internazionale in recent weeks having failed to nail down a regular starting role under Lampard.
Cesar Azpilicueta will continue at left back if James is passed fit.
“Reece has got an injury to the back of the knee,” Lampard said. “Not as bad as it could have been. He’s in contention for tomorrow, but we will decide tomorrow.
“He has had an [ankle] injury at the beginning of the season. Hopefully he will be back tomorrow.”
Asked about Alonso’s status, the head coach added: “Yes, Alonso is back fit.”
Chelsea came from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates less than a month ago but Lampard has already spoken about the Gunners still being in contention for fourth position.
“This league is so competitive,” he added. “I know that they are a good team with good players.
“There has been a change when Arteta came on, we must be on guard and at our best.”