Chelsea returned to winning ways in their first appearance after the end of the World Cup, but their joy with a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth on Tuesday faded due to fears of a possible new injury to player Reece James.
The England right-back played only 53 minutes today after returning from a knee injury that kept him out of the World Cup in Qatar, raising new fears in Chelsea, who are awaiting the results of further tests for the player.
“He’s not in good shape but we have to wait,” Chelsea manager Graham Potter said. “It’s too early to tell anything but at first it wasn’t a positive picture.”
Eight minutes into the second half, James asked the coach to change him.
He appeared distraught as he was being treated on the pitch at Stamford Bridge but walked off unassisted.
The 23-year-old underwent surgery after a knee injury against AC Milan in the Champions League on October 11 and it appeared that the same knee was the cause of his troubles again.
“We will know the nature of the injury in the next couple of days,” Potter added.
Chelsea, who had not won their last five league matches and were ninth before today’s match, looked fine with James at right-back, scoring twice in the first 23 minutes to secure the three points.
It took James no time to recall his abilities as Chelsea launched quick attacks and gave a convincing performance.
On the eve of the match, Potter said James was in “good shape” after going through a “difficult period” of missing the World Cup finals.