Chilwell, James, Cucurella, Lavia: Chelsea injury list and return dates ahead of Fulham clash

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All the latest injury updates for Chelsea ahead of their Premier League match against Fulham.

Chelsea's latest result was far from the ideal midweek outing as they were handed defeat on the road to Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup. The Blues will have the chance to make amends and get their revenge next month but first, an important Premier League clash is on the horizon.

Chelsea will look to bounce back to form with a positive result over Fulham this weekend but they have a lot of pressure on their shoulders as they battle their way through an injury crisis. Mauricio Pochettino has been providing updates on those who are sidelined from the action, so let's take a look at the latest on each injured player this season and when they are expected to return.

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Wesley Fofana (knee)

The number of ACL injuries suffered this season is devastatingly high and players are seeing their seasons cruelly cut short while they work on coming back from the lengthy absence. Wesley Fofana underwent surgery back in July and he returned to 'light training' at the end of 2023.

However, his comeback to playing for Chelsea again is still a while off and he is not expected to return this season.

Marc Cucurella (ankle)

Following his injury against Everton, Marc Cucurella underwent surgery on his ankle last month and is not expected to return to action until around February time. He has been providing positive updates on social media since his operation as he looks to return to the team even stronger.

Reece James (hamstring)

Luck has not been on Reece James' side lately as he finds himself once again out of action with a hamstring injury. The Chelsea skipper underwent surgery last month after making just nine appearances all season.

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As injury continues to hinder James' time on the pitch, the Blues are expected to be without him for some time. No return date has been specified yet but it has been suggested that he could remain absent until at least March.

Roméo Lavia (quad)

After snubbing Liverpool to join the Blues during the summer transfer window, there was a lot of hope for Roméo Lavia's first season with Chelsea. However, the 20-year-old has featured just once this season.

Lavia waited four months to make his debut for Chelsea after recovering from an ankle injury. Cruelly, he picked up another problem against Crystal Palace last month and Pochettino has admitted they do not know when he will return to full fitness.

Robert Sánchez (knee)

No timescale has been set for the return of Robert Sánchez, who is currently out injured with a knee problem. Last month, Pochettino admitted the goalkeeper would be out for a 'few weeks' but did not know exactly how long.

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"I don’t know if it’s two, three, four, five or six [weeks]. His recovery will depend on him and the reaction from his knee. So it’s difficult to say it will be two or three weeks. We will see. We hope he will be back as soon as possible," the boss told the club website last month.

Ben Chilwell (hamstring)

Ben Chilwell started the season strong but picked up a hamstring injury back in September and has not played for the Blues since. Fitness issues have hindered the full-back's time at Stamford Bridge since he arrived and his latest blow will certainly be frustrating after a similar injury last season and an ACL tear the term before.

The good news is that Chelsea have confirmed Chilwell is back training with the full team and reports have suggested he could return to match day action this month.

Carney Chukwuemeka (knee)

Similar to Chilwell, Chukwuemeka is back in full team training after missing the majority of the season due to injury. The midfielder suffered a knee problem back in August and has been out of action ever since. His return to training has also suggested he could return to squad contention this month.

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Benoît Badiashile (hamstring)

Benoît Badiashile's start to the season was delayed due to a hamstring injury and he has since suffered a set-back in his fitness levels. An update at the start of the year claimed that the 22-year-old could be set to return this month, which will be a boost for the Blues if he can stay fit.

Lesley Ugochukwu (hamstring)

The latest update on Lesley Ugochukwu says that his absence is expected to last for up to six months while he recovers from re-injuring his hamstring on Christmas Eve against Wolves. The 19-year-old had already missed just shy of a month of football with a similar problem, and now he must wait even longer before making yet another comeback.

 Moises Caicedo and Lesley Ugochukwu of Chelsea celebrate following their sides victory after the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion  Moises Caicedo and Lesley Ugochukwu of Chelsea celebrate following their sides victory after the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion
Moises Caicedo and Lesley Ugochukwu of Chelsea celebrate following their sides victory after the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion

Trevoh Chalobah (hamstring)

Hamstring injuries have hampered Chelsea's squad this season and Trevoh Chalobah has not featured for this exact reason. He recently suffered a set-back in his recovery, which he initially picked up all the way back in August. He has recently declared himself fit again and could be an important option to call upon in the absence of so many others.

Christopher Nkunku (hip)

Summer signing Christopher Nkunku missed Chelsea's latest clash against Middlesbrough as he recovers from a hip injury. The midfielder only made his debut last month after recovering from a lengthy knee problem and after just three Premier League appearances, he is struggling with fitness again.

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Pochettino has hinted that Nkunku could return for the Fulham match but the club is 'not sure' and they are going to be 'cautious' in re-introducing him to the squad.

Nicolas Jackson (international duty)

Nicolas Jackson has been selected to represent Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and could miss a big chunk of Chelsea fixtures. As reigning champions, the likelihood of the Lions of Teranga going all the way to the final once again is very high, meaning Jackson may not return to England until February and will miss a further six games at club level.

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