Chelsea injury update: Raheem Sterling, Reece James and N’Golo Kante return dates and latest news
Chelsea boss Graham Potter can perhaps see the light at the end of the tunnel of his club’s injury nightmare.
Raheem Sterling, Reece James, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ben Chilwell are all nearing returns ahead of facing Fulham in the Premier League on Friday night.
That still leaves the Blues with a hefty queue into the treatment room and there is no guarantee Enzo Fernandez will be eligible for his debut either.
N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic are just some of the other players keeping Chelsea’s physios busy.
Here is your latest update of Chelsea injuries and return dates...
The winger will be two days shy of a month without a game when he returns to the squad to face Fulham.
Potter has confirmed Sterling as part of a quadruple injury boost for the derby at Stamford Bridge.
James is also back in contention this weekend after his manager confirmed him among those “not ready for 90 minutes but in the squad”.
Chelsea may be inclined to take it slow with the full-back however, given his last injury return ended in tears and that he has not played a whole game since early October.
On Thursday, Potter confirmed Kante’s continued absence in his soon-to-be six-month long recovery from a hamstring injury.
However, reports in France suggest he could be back in time for Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 second leg with Borussia Dortmund in early March - just one month away .
Croatian midfielder Kovacic was a surprise absentee for the 0-0 draw at Liverpool a fortnight ago, which Potter put down to a minor calf issue.
Despite the boss then saying he was “hopeful” for his player’s return against Fulham, he will miss the game but playing against West Ham a week later is not off the table.
For the first time since November, Chilwell will be named in a Chelsea squad for Friday night’s match.
Like the other returning players, a spot on the bench looks most likely after his hamstring injury.
Potter provided an update on defender Fofana’s knee injury on Thursday ahead of a potential playing return in the coming weeks.
He said: “Wesley has been part training partly with the team and he will be stepping it up next week.”
An initial diagnosis of “weeks” for Pulisic, after he suffered a knee injury against Manchester City on January 8, was quickly extended to two months.
At that rate, a return against Leicester or Everton in the middle of next month appears to be his target.
A leg muscle injury continues to keep Zakaria out of action with Potter naming the midfielder as officially unavailable for the Fulham game.
Injured in mid-January, a reported timeframe of four weeks could see him return to face Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League clash this month - if he is registered for it.
A shoulder injury quickly followed by a fractured finger has meant Mendy last played at the World Cup for Senegal.
Potter did not provide an update on his goalkeeper’s condition this week with no timeframe given by the club since his operation was announced on January 7.
A knee injury suffered in a mid-season friendly against Aston Villa required surgery and is set to rule Broja out for the season.
Six weeks ago, he posted an update from his hospital bed, writing: “Pleased to say I underwent a successful operation this morning. Time to rest up before starting my road to recovery.”