Chelsea handed major Reece James injury boost for Borussia Dortmund decider in Champions League

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Reece James took part in Chelsea training at Cobham on Monday morning to hand the Blues a major boost ahead of their looming Champions League decider against Borussia Dortmund.

Right-back James missed Saturday’s much-needed 1-0 win over Leeds in the Premier League with a tight hamstring, having initially been considered a key doubt for the game and then officially ruled out just hours before kick-off.

However, he is now available to return for the crucial last-16 second-leg tie at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening - a game that could still have huge ramifications for the future of under-fire manager Graham Potter as his side try to overturn a 1-0 deficit from Germany.

N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic also joined in with Chelsea training once again on Monday as they close in on their respective comebacks from injury.

Key midfielder Kante has not played since August after undergoing hamstring surgery, with USA forward Pulisic sidelined with a knee problem since early January. Neither are expected to start against Dortmund, Pulisic’s former club.

Back in training: Chelsea have Reece James available to face Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Back in training: Chelsea have Reece James available to face Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea are without Thiago Silva for around six weeks due to knee ligament damage picked up in the 2-0 loss at Tottenham last weekend, with Mason Mount having also missed the Leeds game with an abdominal injury.

Mount did not train again on Monday and is suspended for the second leg against Dortmund anyway after accruing a third yellow card of the competition in the narrow defeat at Signal Iduna Park last month in which Karim Adeyemi, himself now sidelined through injury, netted a brilliant solo winner in the second half.

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is due to return soon for the Blues after surgery on a fractured finger, though striker Armando Broja is expected to miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury suffered in December.

Captain Cesar Azpilicueta continues to be eased back through concussion protocols, having suffered a nasty head injury during the loss to Southampton that led to a three-day stay in hospital. The Spaniard did not train on Monday.

Potter will confirm the availability of James and his 27-man outfield training group in a press conference later on Monday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke and David Datro Fofana have trained but are all unable to play in the Champions League, having not been registered for the knockout stages. Lewis Hall is with the group to bolster the squad from the academy.