LONDON (REUTERS) – Chelsea received a significant injury boost ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to West Ham United, with manager Thomas Tuchel saying Reece James, Timo Werner and Jorginho were available for selection.

The trio missed Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Watford as Chelsea retained their spot at the top of the Premier League table on 33 points after 14 matches, one point above champions Manchester City.

Tuchel said Mateo Kovacic (thigh), Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante (both knee) will remain sidelined, while Trevoh Chalobah is also out after sustaining a thigh injury in the last game.

“Jorginho, Timo Werner and Reece James are training and available,” Tuchel told reporters on Friday (Dec 3).

“It’s important to have Reece and Jorginho back.

“Reece is the specialist on the side and Jorginho is the guy left of Kovacic and N’Golo from the three on whose shoulders we put the central role over a long period now.

“I’m happy that Ruben (Loftus-Cheek) has stepped in but we are happy Jorginho is back… We can’t wait for Kovacic and N’Golo to back because they are an important part of our team in a midfield role where we miss experience and leadership qualities.”

Striker Romelu Lukaku came off the bench in the last two matches after returning from an ankle injury.

Asked if the Belgium international would start against West Ham, Tuchel said, “I will not tell you because this is a part of the line-up I want the opponents to know very late.

“He is in training and eager to start. I don’t know exactly how difficult it is to reach your top level after injury, Romelu and all the other guys.

“We should try to reach our top level and maybe it is different in every match.”

Last modified: December 4, 2021