- Reece James is nearing a return to full training for Chelsea after injury
- The captain is also heading for an FA ban which could delay a return to action
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Reece James is nearing a return to full training, but the Chelsea captain’s comeback is heading for an FA ban.
The England international is currently out with a long-term hamstring injury but is still in trouble following Saturday’s loss to Aston Villa after being accused of confronting referee Jarred Gillett in the Stamford Bridge tunnel after the match.
Chelsea’s legal department will complete their response to the FA before Friday’s deadline, but Mail Sport understands James is expected to accept the charges.
Since the case is considered ‘non-standard’ by the governing body, no predetermined sanction was offered with the indictment.
Instead, regardless of how James responds, a regulatory committee hearing will take place to determine the full-back’s punishment – with suspension one of the possible sanctions.
Reece James nears return to full training, but Chelsea captain’s comeback is heading for an FA ban
James has been out of action since August, but hopes are growing that he can return to full training within the next ten days
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It is highly likely that the committee will not meet again before Monday’s match against Fulham.
Chelsea’s final match before the international break is against Burnley on October 7, but it remains to be seen whether the hearing can be arranged before then.
It would suit Chelsea if the committee met as soon as possible as it provides the opportunity for James to serve a suspension while he is unavailable due to injury.
James has been out of action since August, but hopes are growing that he can return to full training within the next ten days.
Despite the prospect of James facing a ban, the news comes as a major boost for boss Mauricio Pochettino.
The Blues captain suffered a hamstring injury in August and has not played since while he completes his personal rehabilitation programme.
He has been working alone at the club’s headquarters in Cobham but is now set to return to training with his teammates.
There is hope that he can be ready to accelerate his training activities next week, but the game against Burnley is likely to come too soon.
However, there is hope that James will be available for the match against Arsenal on October 21 immediately after the international break.
The news will encourage Pochettino, who is facing increasing injury problems as a full-back.
In addition to James, fellow right-back Malo Gusto is injured – while left-back Ben Chilwell is awaiting the results of a scan on his hamstring injury.
James is accused of confronting referee Jarred Gillett in the Stamford Bridge tunnel
IT’S ALL GOING OFF!