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James, Gusto, Colwill, Nkunku: Latest Chelsea team news as Pochettino prepares for Newcastle



(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino is continuing to see his injury list reduce in recent weeks, coinciding with his Chelsea side’s improved run of form.

Chelsea head into the international on a run of three games unbeaten, finishing on Sunday evening with a thrilling 4-4 draw against Man City as Cole Palmer slotted a stoppage time penalty away against his former side to ensure the Blues didn’t suffer defeat.

The likes of Trevoh Chalobah, Ben Chilwell, Carney Chukwuemeka and Wesley Fofana are continuing to undergo their rehabilitation programmes. Meanwhile, Romeo Lavia is back on the grass with his teammates and could return after the break.

“Romeo Lavia is also close,” head coach Mauricio Pochettino confirmed last week. “(He) trained today on the pitch. Hope that next week will be involved with the team and see after. Day by day see when it is possible to play with the team.”

(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Pochettino has more fitness problems to ponder than the above. Here is the latest on Reece James, Malo Gusto, Levi Colwill and Christopher Nkunku.

Reece James

The Chelsea skipper is continuing his recovery to full fitness following absence from a hamstring injury on the opening day of the season.

James has gradually picked up his minutes in recent weeks, which led to England boss Gareth Southgate wanting to select him for their matches against Malta and North Macedonia this month.

However, Mauricio Pochettino’s medical staff made the decision not to allow him to join up with the national team in a bid to ensure no risks are taken over his long term fitness.

“I think, never it is the decision of the player. It is about assessing, the medical staff, the sport science and coaching staff, we always take decisions,” insisted Pochettino last week. “Not the players. The players cannot assess themself. They can sometimes feel something.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

“He is desperate to go to the national team. I think it’s good for the national team to have communication with the club, to take the best decision for the player, the national team and for Chelsea. Not the decisions of Reece Reece is desperate to go but always it is two parts, the national team and the club that take the best decision for him.

“After all of his problems and now he starts to feel fit again. I am happy he is going to be with us because it’s two weeks to work again. For sure he can have the opportunity to join the national team in the future.”

Malo Gusto

The 20-year-old was forced to withdraw from the France U21 squad after undergoing an MRI. As revealed by L’Equipe, Gusto’s scan revealed ‘a small injury to the medial lateral ligament in his right knee’.

He has been playing with strapping against both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, so it looks more precautionary than anything, and Gusto is likely to be available against Newcastle.

(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Levi Colwill

Colwill, 20, missed the 4-4 draw against Man City due to a shoulder problem. However, the central defender joined up with the England squad to be assessed before his availability was decided.

England confirmed on Tuesday that Colwill would take no part in the November camp for their Euro 2024 qualifiers and that he would return to Chelsea to continue treatment.

A statement read: “Jude Bellingham and Levi Colwill will play no part in England’s forthcoming UEFA EURO 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.

“The pair arrived at St. George’s Park for assessments on Monday but will now return to Real Madrid and Chelsea respectively to continue their rehabilitation.”

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Chelsea will be hoping Colwill has enough time to recover in time for the trip to St. James’ Park in 10 days time.

Christopher Nkunku

The 26-year-old is nearing a return from a knee injury. He has been absent since pre-season after getting injured against Borussia Dortmund in the United States.

Nkunku returned to team training last week and could be ready to make the squad against Newcastle. Pochettino confirmed that’s the France international’s aim, however he won’t be rushed back.

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

“We had some conversation and he said to me, ‘Coach, I want to be ready for after international break, Newcastle’. I asked him yesterday (last Thursday) and he said ‘hmmm’, and I said ‘you are liar’. ‘No, no I am ready’.

“It is close and he is doing really well. We are so happy with him, the way he is recovering, he is very professional.”