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Why Reece James will miss Chelsea vs Leeds United as Potter confirms hoped return date



(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Reece James has been ruled out of Chelsea’s Premier League clash against Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, head coach Graham Potter has confirmed.

The 23-year-old, who was arrested against Southampton last month, picked up a hamstring problem in the buildup to Saturday’s clash in the capital.

During Friday’s press conference, Potter confirmed that James would be a doubt for this weekend’s game, and a late decision would be made on his involvement.

Now Potter has confirmed to the 5th Stand that the England international will be absent for what is set to potentially be a ‘make or break’ game for Potter over his future at the club.

Pressure is mounting on the 47-year-old and should the Blues suffer a fourth straight defeat, it may lead to another discussion amongst the hierarchy over whether Potter can continue as Chelsea head coach.

“Reece is feeling a bit of tightness which is sometimes understandable coming back from injury,” revealed Potter. 

“We have been assessing him this week and feel it is too soon for the game today.”

Chelsea face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday night looking to overturn a one nil deficit to progress into the quarter-finals. 

Potter is hoping James will be available after outlining his chances of being in contention for selection for the European clash. 

He added: “There is a strong chance he will be available for Tuesday but this game comes too soon.”

Chelsea will also be without Thiago Silva against Leeds after he was ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee injury sustained against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. 

Meanwhile, Mason Mount will also be unavailable to face Leeds due to a lower abdomen problem.

N’Golo Kanté returned to full training this week and is nearing a comeback with Potter hoping to be able to select him for the first time since he was appointed last September. Kanté hasn’t played since last August after suffering a hamstring injury which led him to undergo surgery.

Chelsea are in dire need of a win against Leeds United on Saturday will be hoping to claim their first victory in seven games in all competitions.

But should they fail to win, the pressure will once again increase on Potter as question marks over his future continue.