Chelsea handed injury boost ahead of Aston Villa as injured star trains at Cobham for the first time in 2024

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Reece James has been out for 136 days but returned to Chelsea’s Cobham training base today.

Chelsea defender Reece James is among three players who returned to training this week ahead of their crunch Premier League game against Aston Villa this weekend. James is yet to kick a ball this year having been forced into surgery to correct a long-standing hamstring issue. 

He hinted last week via a social media post that he was close to returning before the club posted images of him training at Cobham today. 

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In addition to James, defender Levi Colwill has also returned to training having missed the last eight games due to a toe problem. The England defender was spotted in a picture released by the club working with the returning James. 

Another player who was spotted in training was the prolific Cole Palmer, who missed the 5-0 thrashing at Arsenal due to illness. Reports had suggested he would be fit for the trip to Villa Park with Chelsea in desperate need of inspiration. 

Palmer has been the shining star of a young team that has blown hot and cold but is still in with a chance to finish in a European spot. They are six points behind Manchester United in sixth position on the league table and need to finish at least seventh to play in the Europa Conference League next season. 

Pressure is mounting on manager Mauricio Pochettino who was tasked with qualifying the team to Champions League football. There have been mitigating circumstances with Chelsea being aware that he’s had to work with an unprecedented injury situation.

A chance to win a trophy was blown away by their defeat to Manchester City at Wembley and now they will have to qualify for European football to save what has been a challenging season.

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