Chelsea travel to Brighton on Saturday, as Graham Potter faces his old employers in the Premier League.

The Chelsea boss has a number of injury concerns for the trip to the south coast, with titanic wing-back Reece James still sidelined.

“He’s in a brace for probably four weeks,” reported Potter.

The Chelsea and England star is still optimistic about recovering in time for the World Cup, however, and has confirmed that the rehabilitation process is going steadily.

“I will try and not rule myself out,” James has said. “It is still slow and in the early stages. I have been in rehab for two weeks, so I am still taking it day by day. The Chelsea medical staff have not given me a percentage of my chance of being back for the World Cup.

“It is down to how I feel closer to the time and how stable it is… I am trying to be positive. I am not not sure how long this injury will take. I am not in pain. But if I try to speed it up, it might be a bit of a risk. I am trying hard every day to improve and make it right.”

Elsewhere, Potter has suggested that the fitness of his squad is similar to how it was prior to their midweek Champions League victory over RB Salzburg, with midweek goal-scorer Mateo Kovacic looking healthy enough to feature at the weekend.

“We’re pretty much the same as Salzburg,” the Chelsea boss confirmed. “Mateo has no problem with his calf, it was more fatigue.”

Elsewhere, Kalidou Koulibaly has missed the Blues’ previous two fixtures and is not likely to return this time around.

“Koulibaly has an outside chance for Wednesday [vs Dinamo Zagreb] but not [Brighton],” Potter stated.

Meanwhile, alongside James, long-term absentees N’Golo Knate and Wesley Fofana will also miss out on the trip to Brighton.


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