Reece James has sent a hopeful message to Chelsea and England fans ahead of the winter World Cup.
The right-back has been confirmed as not needing surgery on a knee injury sustained during the second half of Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over AC Milan earlier this week but it still in a race against time to be fit enough for consideration in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad.
James will miss up to eight weeks of action, ruling him out of the remainder of club matches, but there is an outside chance that if recovery goes well that he could yet earn a place in the England squad and undertake the final stages whilst away in Qatar.
Southgate did a similar thing with Harry Maguire during Euro 2020 last summer and could be tempted with James if there is a change that he could be ready for the latter stages of the tournament.
Chelsea’s last game before the tournament commences is November 12th, with England’s first match not being until November 21st – just over five weeks away. That would still be too soon, but without surgery there is a chance that James could come back quicker than the eight weeks.In a statement released on Saturday evening, Chelsea confirmed the course of action:
“Following the knee injury sustained in our away match against AC Milan, Reece has received treatment from the Chelsea medical department and visited a specialist this weekend.
“After consultation between all parties, Reece will now undergo a rehabilitation programme and is expected to be out for eight weeks.”
With both James and his international teammates and fans willing him on, the fullback has sent out a message on Twitter. James posted:
“The race against time is on… But we won’t give up.”