James, Sterling, Nkunku: Chelsea injury list & expected return dates ahead of Spurs clash

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All the latest injury news for Chelsea ahead of their Premier League clash against Spurs.

Chelsea will be looking to return to winning ways when they contest one of their crucial Premier League games in hand in the race for European qualification against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday evening. The Blues had to fight back from two goals down against Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon to secure a 2-2 draw having lost their previous top flight outing 5-0 to Arsenal.

That result leaves Mauricio Pochettino’s men ninth in the table as they prepare to face his former club, and a win against Spurs would lift Chelsea above West Ham, who they play at the weekend.

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But how will the Blues line up at Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening? We’ve taken a closer look at their latest injury list, as well as any potential return dates where available, below...

Wesley Fofana

Fofana continues to battle an ongoing knee injury, and is not expected to play again this season.

Romeo Lavia

The midfielder has endured a nightmarish debut campaign in West London, and like Fofana, is ruled out for the remainder of the season. Speaking back in March, Pochettino said: 'From December, we haven’t had the possibility to train with him because he was never really close to being available. We are going to help him become stronger and be available for pre-season.'

Enzo Fernandez

Fernandez recently underwent successful groin surgery on a problem that has reportedly been affecting him for six months or so. Speaking about his midfielder last week, Pochettino said: 'The moment Enzo felt pain and limitations because of the problem, the most important thing was to fix the situation. If he can't perform because of the situation, it's not good for him, not good for the team and not good for the club.'

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Lesley Ugochukwu

In better news, Ugochukwu is seemingly closing on a return to first team action. The likelihood is that Thursday night will come too soon for the midfielder, but he could be back in time to face West Ham.

Reece James

Likewise, James appears to be edging ever closer to a comeback. Speaking last week, Pochettino said: 'No, [he is] not available yet. Yesterday, [he was] doing some training with the squad. [He is] close.'

Raheem Sterling

Sterling is said to be suffering from a lower back complaint, and will face a late assessment to determine his availability this week. Thursday may come too soon, but he should be in contention to feature at the weekend.

Christopher Nkunku

Another who has barely featured this season, Nkunku is thought to be closing in on a return at long last. Suggestions from some quarters are that he could play against Spurs, but only time will tell.

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Levi Colwill

Similarly, Colwill has a better chance of featuring than many on this list, but will also face a late fitness test.

Malo Gusto

Gusto has no concrete return date attached to him after sustaining a knee ligament issue. Speaking recently, Pochettino said: 'I am not a doctor, but I try to translate what is going on. Malo suffered a problem with a ligament in his knee; we hope it's not a big issue.'

Ben Chilwell

Another full-back with a knee issue, Chilwell is also under assessment to determine his availability.

Carney Chukwuemeka

As for last week, Pochettino’s view on Chukwuemeka’s injury status was: 'Carney felt something in his knee related to his problem before. We hope it's not a big issue and he can be back as soon as possible.'

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Thiago Silva

Silva is suffering from a groin issue which is reportedly similar to one that he sustained against Crystal Palace earlier in the season. On that occasion, he was sidelined for three weeks.

Robert Sanchez

And finally, Sanchez is said to be back in partial team training.

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