Reece James opens up on Chelsea injury and makes World Cup promise amid Gareth Southgate wait
Chelsea defender Reece James has posted a short update on his recovery from surgery as next month’s World Cup in Qatar approaches. James hobbled off the pitch in the 2-0 victory over AC Milan earlier this month after suffering a knee injury. A few days later, the club confirmed that the 22-year-old would undergo a rehabilitation programme and is expected to be out for eight weeks.
The injury comes at possibly the worst time for Graham Potter and James. The Blues have seven games scheduled to take place ahead of the mid- season break for the World Cup in November, forcing Ruben Loftus-Cheek to take up the right wing-back position.
For James , his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the winter tournament is in jeopardy due to the length he is expected to be out for. The statement released from Chelsea insisted he would miss eight weeks, creating concern that he will not be available for selection until after the Three Lions’ initial three group games, should they progress to the knockout stages of the competition.
Southgate was due to confirm his 55-man provisional squad today (October 21) and it’s expected that the Chelsea defender will be involved in that list as a precaution. FIFA has set a deadline for November 13 to finalise their 26- man squad for the tournament. With his rehab underway, James has posted a brief update to supporters about his injury and has reassured his ambitions to feature in next month’s tournament.
“Last week against AC Milan, I went in for a tackle and got injured. I didn’t think it was too bad after the game. I stayed an extra day in Milan and just thought that maybe it was a little niggle,” he said on a YouTube Shorts video. “A day or two later I saw a surgeon and he told me that I was going to be out for around two months. It’s obviously devastating. The World Cup is only one month away. As a kid growing up, I always wanted to go and this is my first opportunity.
“I’ll do everything I can to be there, but I’m obviously devastated. The injury has come at the wrong time. But everyday we need to be grateful and thankful. I’ll keep you updated with what’s happening on a day to day basis.”