Chelsea have many injury list concern ahead the Premier League restart looms.
Having suffered a fresh blow in the friendly against Aston Villa, as Armando Broja went down with a potentially serious knee injury,
Graham Potter could do with some reinforcements and fast.
Reece James, N’Golo Kante, Wesley Fofana and Ben Chilwell are among the players pushing for returns.
The Blues have over a fortnight before their next game at least, which comes against Bournemouth on December 27.
Chelsea were hit by Broja being taken off on a stretcher in the friendly defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday.
The Albanian striker flew home on Monday to undergo a scan, which will diagnose the severity of the painful-looking injury.
“It was an unfortunate action, I think he got caught up with their player and the ground.
It doesn’t look positive at the moment, but it is too early to say. Fingers crossed, but it is an awkward one.”
French midfielder Kante is “progressing well”, according to Potter, having also sat out the World Cup.
He underwent surgery on a hamstring injury suffered all the way back in August and a return is not thought to be likely until January, at the earliest.
Potte said last week:
“N’Golo is a little bit further away but again he’s progressing well.”
Fofana’s start to his Chelsea career has been disrupted by injury as well as a change of manager, and he has not played since October due to a knee problem.
However, like James the centre-back has also been described as “moving forward” in his recovery and he is being reintegrated into training.
One of Chelsea’s many World Cup absentees, left-back Chilwell is pinned for a step-up in his comeback from a hamstring injury in the coming days.
He is not yet back in full training and the Bournemouth game may come too soon.
Taken out of the World Cup with a knee injury at AC Milan on November 10, James was not able to make his playing return one month and one day later against Villa.
But the 23-year-old has stepped up his comeback with a return to light contact training on the weekend.
He had “moved forward” in his recovery after the Villa game.
All signs point towards James being fit to play some part against Bournemouth.
A calf injury has kept Loftus-Cheek out of action since he suffered the blow against Newcastle just before the break and he too is not quite close to a return just yet.
Potter said on the weekend:
“Hopefully Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ben Chilwell can also take a step forward in their rehab next week so we’re optimistic about that.”
Missing from the friendly with Villa and the World Cup, Kepa has been suffering from a foot issue since coming off in the defeat to Brighton in late October.
The goalkeeper was described by his manager as “not quite with the team yet but he has stepped up his rehab” last week.
A hamstring injury struck Chukwuemeka in early November and his absence flew under-the-radar somewhat, given the break.
The youngster continued to be unavailable for Sunday’s game but Potter gave an optimistic update as he named him among those “moving forward” after the final whistle.