The 23-year-old has been sidelined since August when he sustained a hamstring problem in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool on the opening weekend of the new season.
Malo Gusto has since been operating at right-back for Mauricio Pochettino's side, although he was sent off in the 1-0 home defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League last weekend.
In the absence of both James and Gusto, Pochettino opted to select left-back Marc Cucurella on the right side of defence for Chelsea's 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion in the EFL Cup third round on Wednesday.
According to the Daily Mail, James has been working alone on his recovery at Chelsea's Cobham training complex and is closing in on a return to first-team training.
The report adds that there is hope that the England international could accelerate his involvement in training at some stage next week, but the Premier League games against Fulham next Monday and Burnley on October 7 will come too soon for the defender.
Chelsea's trip to Turf Moor is followed by a 14-day international break, before returning to top-flight action against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on October 21, when the Blues hope to have James available for selection.
Although Chelsea can be encouraged by James's recovery from injury, the club are awaiting news on whether the defender faces an FA suspension after he was recently charged following an alleged incident in the tunnel after last Sunday's defeat to Aston Villa.
James is alleged to have «used improper and/or insulting and/or abusive words and/or behaviour» towards referee Jarred Gillett and heRead on sportsmole.co.uk