Nathaniel Chalobah will play some part in Watford’s next three games but Javi Gracia has refused to say whether he will feature against Fulham on Sunday.

The midfielder continued his recovery from injury on Monday as he played 78 minutes for the Under-23s as they lost 2-0 to Ipswich Town.

Gracia is eager to protect the 23-year-old and it seems more likely he will play in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday rather than in the league this weekend.

“We will see in the next games,” Gracia said when quizzed if Chalobah would play against Fulham. “He played in the Carabao Cup as well and next week we are going to play three games.

“I am sure he will enjoy minutes and show what he is able to do. I think he is ready to help the team playing more time or less and we will see how much time he needs to play in the best XI.”

Meanwhile, Gerard Deulofeu continues to be an absentee for Watford after Gracia confirmed the winger will not be available against Fulham.

The former Barcelona man, Gracia confirmed, has not been involved in full training and seems to be some way off a comeback.

He said: “He is not ready yet. Gerard is training in this moment but not in the team. I think after a test on Saturday we will see if he is possible to train with us.