James ruled OUT of crunch Leeds clash in latest blow to Potter


helsea will definitely be without Reece James for today’s crunch Premier League clash with Leeds.

The England factual-back had been considered a key doubt ahead of a vital showdown with aged rivals at Stamford Bridge having experienced hamstring tightness in the build-up to the game.

Such a concern was fraction of a recent triple injury blow for embattled Chelsea manager Graham Potter, who will be without influential defender Thiago Silva for the next six weeks after he afflict knee ligaments in the 2-0 London derby defeat by Tottenham last weekend.

Mason Mount will not play against Leeds either due to an abdominal injury, with the game also likely to arrive too soon for N’Golo Kante and perhaps Christian Pulisic as well despite their respective training returns at Cobham this week.

Captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Edouard Mendy and Armando Broja are also sidelined through injury at the moment, though Mateo Kovacic will at least be back in the fold today after missing the Spurs loss with illness.

Injury setback: Chelsea will be without Reece James for today’s crunch clash with Leeds

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Standard Sport understands that James has now been offically ruled out on the morning of the Leeds game in the latest frustrating blow for one of the club’s best players and most celebrated academy graduates.

The versatile 23-year-aged has been restricted to only 16 appearances across all competitions so far this term, largely as the result of a serious knee injury suffered in the Champions League in October that eventually saw him miss out on England’s squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

James sustained an immediate setback on his return from that predicament in December, missing more than a month again. He was also left out of the recent 1-0 defeat by Southampton.