LONDON (AP) — After missing the World Cup because of a knee injury, Reece James sparked fears of a fresh setback when he limped off during Chelsea’s 2-0 win against Bournemouth on Tuesday.
The England right back looked close to tears when substituted after 53 minutes at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s really too soon, but it’s the same area so we are concerned and we’ll have to see over the next 24-48 hours,” Chelsea manager Graham Potter said.
James was left out of England’s World Cup squad after sustaining a knee injury in October. And there are fears he has suffered a recurrence in his first competitive game back.
“He felt something there and we will have to find out the extent of it and keep our fingers crossed,” Potter said. “He’s been really disappointed to miss the World Cup, of course. It was a huge blow to him. You could see today his quality and what he brings to the team.”
Potter said the plan was to have James play 60 minutes.
Chelsea ended a three-game losing streak with the win.
Goals from Kai Havertz and Mason Mount in the first half ensured three points for the London club and left it eighth in the Premier League.
Before the World Cup break, Chelsea had lost four of its previous five games in all competitions and had been winless in its previous five league games.
Potter was in need of a win with his team outside the top six at Christmas for only the second time in 22 seasons.
Chelsea took the lead after just 16 minutes when Havertz slid in to convert Raheem Sterling’s low ball.
Eight minutes later Chelsea had a second, with Havertz laying the ball back for Mount — making his 150th start for the club — to superbly curl beyond goalkeeper Mark Travers from 20 yards.
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