Reece James
Reece James has suffered yet another injury with his latest hamstring issue set to rule him out for three months. Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Chelsea are set to be without club captain and right-back, Reece James, for roughly three months after a scan on Tuesday confirmed that he had suffered a hamstring injury.

The England international limped off after just 26 minutes in Chelsea's 2-0 loss away to Everton on the weekend as he felt a strain in his right hamstring. James had been working his way back to full fitness having previously suffered a hamstring problem earlier this season, which kept him out of action from August to October.

Chelsea's right back has had a torrid time with injuries as the past three years have seen him pick up seven hamstring injuries, whilst also suffering from knee, ankle and muscle issues. Knee ligament damage last season caused James to miss England's 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign in Qatar.

James has suffered three hamstring setbacks in 2023 alone and is now set to turn to a hamstring specialist to decide on the next course of action in his rehabilitation process and to help overcome this issue long term. A possible solution for James could be to undergo surgery so that his hamstring troubles can potentially be put completely behind him.

Earlier this season, Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino mentioned that the club was trying to avoid having James go through surgery to deal with his recurring hamstring problems.

James' injury setback comes amidst a tough period for Chelsea as they currently sit 12th in the Premier League table. In the Blues' last eight league games, they have lost four and won just two games

Pochettino will be without his captain for a crucial block of matches in the season, as the games come quickly for Premier League sides once the festive period kicks into gear. Chelsea still have four league matches left in December as well as a Carabao Cup quarter-final matchup with Newcastle United.

This latest injury setback for James may jeopardise his international aspirations as he now faces a race against time to convince England boss Gareth Southgate that he should be taken to next summer's UEFA European Championships in Germany. James last featured for the Three Lions against Italy in March this year as he came on as a substitute in the final stages of the game in Naples.

For the most recent round of international games, which took place last month, James turned down a place in Southgate's squad for the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia as the defender wanted to use the time to recover further from his previous hamstring injury. Southgate would have selected James had the player made himself available.

England have just one more international camp in March next year before they jet off to Germany for the Euros. Any player looking to force his way into Southgate's plans will need to be selected for the March fixtures against Brazil and Belgium and impress in those games.

James likely being out until March means he may have to return from injury slightly earlier than advised if he wants to be selected then for England, as missing the friendlies in March would leave his Euro 2024 prospects hanging by a thread.

England have a remarkable array of talent in the right-back spot, with Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold all set to represent the nation at the Euros. Also, Newcastle's Tino Livramento is another English right-back making a name for himself this season and may have even replaced James in the England pecking order.

Sky Sports pundit, Paul Merson, believes James has to prioritise getting fully fit again and not rush back. He said: "Reece now needs to have a proper break and rest. He needs to get his recovery right. He needs to be patient and get himself healthy."

Merson also touched on the possible consequences of James coming back prematurely, stating: "He will get frustrated being injured and will say he's okay to play when actually he isn't okay. He'll come back too early and break down again and then it keeps happening over and over."

In addition to James being injured for Chelsea, the Blues also lost goalkeeper, Robert Sanchez and left back, Marc Cucurella, in the defeat to Everton. Pochettino now has twelve players unavailable due to injury, with Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Christopher Nkunku, Malo Gusto, Romeo Lavia and Trevor Chalobah among the players ruled out currently.