Football

Chelsea players closing in on returning from injuries

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has issued a positive injury update ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Aston Villa on Sunday, with several first-team players closing in on a return to action.

Armando Broja, who has been sidelined since last December with a knee injury, could make his long-awaited return to the squad against Villa while Noni Madueke and Marc Cucurella are also available.

Reece James, Carney Chukwuemeka and Trevoh Chalobah are also close to a return to action following their respective injury problems, Pochettino said.

But record signing Moises Caicedo remains a doubt for Villa and will be assessed ahead of the game after picking up a knee injury on international duty, while Benoit Badiashile has suffered a “minor setback” in his recovery from a hamstring injury.

“We need to assess Moises tomorrow, he was training in an individual way, not with the team until today,” Pochettino said.

“We will assess him tomorrow and see if he can be involved on Sunday.

“Noni was involved during the week in training so I think yes, and maybe we need one day more Broja and maybe he can be involved Sunday, but we’re not sure and we need to assess him tomorrow.

On Badiashile’s setback, Pochettino added: “Yes but it’s in a different muscle, a different thing. It was minor.

“Reece (James), Chukwuemeka and also Chalobah, they are very close to being involved and to start with the team, to start to train.”

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