Pochettino’s prediction about Reece James’ potential minutes tomorrow will delight Chelsea supporters

Mauricio Pochettino has just taken his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game against Nottingham Forest, and there was good injury news all round.

The numbers of players out has decreased, and he was even able to speak with confidence about the return of one of his key players, captain Reece James. The right back has been in training for weeks now after returning from surgery on his hamstring in January, and Pochettino claimed we could see him as an option off the bench this week and in the following two games to end the season:

“The most important thing is for him to be there with us,” Pochettino said of James’ return.

“Always to have your captain is a massive boost. We have an amazing relationship and he is an amazing player. It’s not easy when you come from a long-term injury. If he can play five, 10, 15, 20 [minutes] or half an hour, that would be amazing.”

It seems he’s talking about the game tomorrow, rather than next week’s fixtures. So it could be just 24 hours until James makes his return.

Reece James trains alone.

A morale boosting return

James has been out for so long and will have to be re-introduced so carefully through these last games that he’s not exactly going to have time to make a major impact. But there’s more to it than that. Psychologically it’s very important to give him the boost of getting back on the pitch a couple more times before the summer break.

There is absolutely no desire to risk anything, but equally we all know that these long periods out are as taxing for the players mentally as they are physically, and even a couple of cameo appearances off the bench will be a great reward for James after so long out.

He will get a great reception from the fans, and will be able to go into the summer break knowing he’s on the right track.

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