Blues boss stresses returning players “need time” as injury list drops to a season low four

Mauricio Pochettino has reiterated players returning from injury will “need time” to fully get back up to speed as Chelsea’s injury list shortens.

Injuries have been a constant problem for the Blues throughout the season, with Pochettino unable to call on several key players for large parts of the campaign.

Chelsea have had a league high 54 injuries this season and were without 14 players for the recent home win against Tottenham.

Returning players will need time

As well as the club’s form improving in recent weeks the injury list has also shortened with Levi Colwill, Axel Disasi, Malo Gusto, Raheem Sterling, Christopher Nkunku, Reece James and Lesley Ugochukwu all returning to the squad over the last two games.

The Blues now have game changing options from the bench which hasn’t always been the case this season, with Sterling and James making a huge impact against Nottingham Forest.

For Wednesday night’s game against Brighton Chelsea are down to a season low of four injuries, with Pochettino keen to stress returning players will need time, but they don’t have it due to there only being two games left.

Pochettino stressed injured players will “need time” to get back up to speed.

“The players that have arrived from injury need time [to regain full fitness] and we don’t have time, he told his pre match press conference.

“We need to play and start games with players who can cope for 90 minutes.

“We will see if the injured players can cope with some minutes [on Wednesday night].

“We have the names and bodies, but they are not 100% to play and cope with the demands of the Premier League for 90 minutes at the moment.”

The return of James against Forest was a huge lift for everyone at the club, and the Argentine confirmed his captain is in contention for more minutes against Brighton.

“Reece is training well and now we need to control the game time because we want him to finish the season really strong”, he added.

“He is doing really well and we hope tomorrow he will have the possibility to play a little bit more than against Forest.”

Whilst Ben Chilwell and Carney Chukwuemeka returned to full training Pochettino admitted the Brighton game could be too soon for the pair, but they could have a chance against Bournemouth.

It’s great to finally have so many options to choose from, and for Pochettino to have genuine selection headaches, it’s just a shame the season is nearly over.

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