Reece James is only fit enough to make the bench for Chelsea's clash with Brentford on Saturday afternoon as the full-back is recovering from COVID-19, it has emerged.
Chelsea take on the Bees at Stamford Bridge with the future of the club off the pitch still up in the air, as fans protested the potential Ricketts takeover in light of comments against Muslims that emerged over the international break.
On the pitch, however, things seem to be meandering to a spot in the Champions League next season via a third-place finish in the Premier League, while attentions will surely be drawn to semi-final of the FA Cup against Crystal Palace and their Champions League knockout clash with Real Madrid.
James only fit enough for the bench
However, their preparations have taken something of a hit as Reece James has been passed fit enough only for a spot amongst the substitutes, perhaps with an eye to the Real Madrid clash on Wednesday.
This comes as it emerges that he has been suffering with COVID-19 over the past week, further punctuating what has been a difficult season for the rampaging full-back.
James has at times been unplayable when fit, but has been fit altogether infrequently, having suffered from injuries and COVID-19 throughout the season, that has limited him to just 17 Premier League appearances this campaign.
This, combined with the season-ending injury to Ben Chilwell in October, derailed any real chance of Premier League success this season. They will be hoping for a win against Brentford to kickstart preparation for their clash with Real Madrid, however.