Reece James is back in Chelsea training after recovering from an ankle injury that kept him out of the club’s pre-season preparations after requiring surgery on the problem.
The defender enjoyed a fruitful spell for Wigan Athletic last season, earning himself a place in the Championship Team of the Season after impressing for the Latics during his season-long loan from the Blues.
Such was the 19-year-old’s form, Frank Lampard opted to retain the youngster in his first-team squad instead of sending him out on another loan spell this season. However, with the right-back looking set to feature during pre-season, he suffered damaged ligaments in his ankle during the Toulon Tournament and had to undergo surgery – ruling him out of the start of the season.
Working his way back to fitness, Chelsea confirmed on their official Twitter page that the promising talent is now back in training following his lengthy period on the sidelines.
After such a rip-roaring campaign in Lancashire last term, James was widely tipped to rival Cesar Azpilicueta for a starting berth at full-back – a move that could see the Spaniard deployed in central defence.
His appreciation by Lampard was made all the more clear after the Premier League side sanctioned the loan departure of fellow right-back Davide Zappacosta to Roma during the summer transfer window.
James’ return will act as a welcome boost to Lampard who has seen his side endure a difficult start to his life as a top-flight manager. Chelsea currently sit in 11th in the Premier League table – with a goals difference of minus three – after picking up just five points from their opening six matches.