Emma Hayes says Lauren James missed Chelsea win with injury, no return date given

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Emma Hayes says Lauren James missed Chelsea win with injury, no return date given

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes explained Lauren James missed Wednesday’s WSL victory over Aston Villa because of injury but refused to comment on the nature of the problem or time scale for her return.

James, who has 13 goals in 15 WSL appearances this season, played the full 90 minutes during Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester United but was not listed in Chelsea’s squad for the three-goal victory over Villa.

“She was unavailable, as was (Jelena) Cankovic,” said Hayes after the game. “Cankovic was sick this morning and Lauren is injured.”

When asked if she could confirm if it was a foot injury, as the club had indicated, Hayes said: “I’ve already stated she has an injury. I’m not here to discuss the situation.”

When questioned about the time scale of the injury, Hayes said: “I’m not commenting on anything. I haven’t seen her. She hasn’t been with the team today. She came in. She wasn’t training yesterday. I won’t see her tomorrow.

“I don’t know what state she’ll be in on Friday but I will get a call usually from my medical team the following day to give me an update on anybody who hasn’t been available for selection.”

Hayes made seven changes from Sunday’s FA Cup defeat to Manchester United in an attempt to rest players ahead of their Champions League semi-final against Barcelona on Saturday.

USWNT’s Catarina Macario made her first start for Chelsea following her comeback from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury while Japan international Maika Hamano scored on her first start for the club.

Aggie Beever-Jones and Kadeisha Buchanan netted either side of Hamano to round off a comfortable 3-0 win against a Villa side who were reduced to 10 players four minutes into the game after their goalkeeper Anna Leat handled the ball outside the area.

Chelsea return to the top of the WSL, level on points with Manchester City but with a superior goal difference. They are next in action on Saturday away to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.



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(Harriet Lander – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)