England & Chelsea defender Reece James set to miss World Cup due to knee injury

Reece James, a defender for Chelsea and England, is expected to miss the World Cup next month because of a knee injury that will keep him out for eight weeks.

James, 22, was forced out of Chelsea’s midweek Champions League win over AC Milan, and the extent of the problem has been confirmed after consulting with specialists.

The England right-back has not undergone surgery but has begun a rehabilitation program, likely to keep him out for eight weeks.


Chelsea official statement

“Following the knee injury sustained in our away game against AC Milan, Reece has received treatment from the Chelsea medical department and consulted a specialist this weekend.” Chelsea wrote in a brief statement on their official website.

“Reece will now participate in a rehabilitation program and is anticipated to be out for eight weeks after discussions between all parties.”

Big blow for England

Five weeks from now, on November 21, Iran will play England in their opening group match in Qatar. The following two games are against the United States (on November 25) and Wales (on November 29).

Being ruled out of the World Cup would be a bitter blow for James and England boss Gareth Southgate, who has seen three of his leading right-backs succumb to injury in recent weeks.

Following groin surgery, Kyle Walker of Manchester City is a serious question mark for Southgate’s roster; his inclusion depends on his recovery. Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool is also out.

Alexander-Arnold suffered an ankle injury in Liverpool’s 3-2 loss to Arsenal last Sunday, and he was sidelined for a fortnight.

Midfielder Kalvin Phillips, another essential member of Southgate’s squad, is battling to regain his fitness after shoulder surgery.

After Euro 2020, Phillips was awarded England’s player of the year, but since joining Manchester City for £42 million from Leeds in July, he has only made three appearances.

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