Chelsea injury update: Kai Havertz, Reece James and N’Golo Kante latest news and return dates
Chelsea have received a swathe of welcome news on the injury front.
Kai Havertz has beaten a fever that knocked him out of Germany action and Reece James is returning from a fitness setback of his own.
They should join N’Golo Kante in the squad to face Aston Villa this weekend, along with Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling and possibly Edouard Mendy.
Christian Pulisic is a fresh doubt, however, and the game will come too soon for Wesley Fofana and Thiago Silva.
Here is your latest update Chelsea injuries and return dates...
The Chelsea striker is now fit to play after dropping out of the German squad due to a fever.
That meant he missed his country’s defeat to Belgium but he was back in first-team training with his club on Friday, with Potter confirming his return to contention.
James returned to Chelsea training this week after leaving England’s camp halfway through their Euro 2024 qualifiers with an “ongoing” issue.
Gareth Southgate said the defender was “not completely happy” with a leg injury and a cautious approach meant he returned to west London.
Chelsea boss Potter has confirmed James’ role in the last two days of training before facing Villa, and he is set to start unless a fresh setback rears its head.
Kante made his return to the Chelsea squad before the international break against Everton, though did not make an appearance before playing for an hour in a behind-closed-doors friendly win over Charlton.
Set to be in the squad against Villa, the Frenchman is unlikely to be ready to start.
Potter said: “We have to manage that because he's been out for so long. He's had some behind-closed-doors time and I'm pretty sure he will be out on the pitch at some point.”
Mount is almost free from a pubic bone injury, which forced him to pull out of the England squad. The midfielder was initially called up by Gareth Southgate, much to the surprise Graham Potter.
Back in training, Potter has said it is unlikely the midfielder will start against Villa.
“It's been tough for him because he's had niggly injuries and noise off the pitch,” said the manager. “He's a top professional, how he's acted with me and around us has been top. Sometimes if things in your career aren't optimal, you've got to act well - and he has.”
After playing for the United States against Grenada and El Salvador, Pulisic has returned to Cobham with a cold.
That has put his participation against Villa in doubt, although any absence would likely only be short-term.
As with Mount, Sterling was not fit enough to be involved with England but could offer Potter an injury boost in the near future.
The forward has not played since the Stamford Bridge win Borussia Dortmund, but this week he returned to training and should play a role at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Fofana withdrew from the France squad at the start of the international break ahead of their matches against the Netherland and the Republic Ireland after picking up an issue against Everton.
“Wes Fofana had to come off with fatigue, as he has had a long time out,” Potter explained after the match. “He was feeling his hamstring.”
Fofana was back in training on Friday and is focusing on returning for the Liverpool clash in the coming midweek.
Silva picked up a knee injury against Tottenham at the end of February, with a rough timescale of six weeks given at the time.
That would suggest the centre-back is only a couple of weeks away from a potential return to the Chelsea team, with the focus surely on the Champions League. The Blues face Real Madrid in the first leg of their quarter-final tie on April 12, with Silva set to be in contention by then.
Mendy has now returned to full first-team training, having been out since the World Cup after having surgery on a fractured finger.
He is therefore expected to be back in the squad this weekend as Chelsea face Villa, though it is likely that Kepa Arrizabalaga keeps his place in goal for now.
Azpilicueta will not return against Villa as he continues his recovery from concussion. The defender has not played since the defeat to Southampton, when he spent three days in hospital.
On Friday, Potter confirmed his continued absence for the weekend.
Broja will be out for at least the remainder of this season, facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines as he recovers from a serious knee injury.
The anterior cruciate ligament rupture required surgery, and it remains to be seen whether Broja will be back in time for pre-season in the summer.