Chelsea’s Reece James could miss World Cup for England after battling knee injury
EXCLUSIVE: Reece James could miss the World Cup with a more serious knee injury than expected and possible surgery as he prepares to see a specialist… in a hammer blow to Chelsea and Gareth Southgate’s plans
- Reece James could miss the World Cup after injuring his knee this week
- He suffered ligament damage and is expected to miss six to eight weeks of action
- His absence would be a blow to Gareth Southgate ahead of Qatar
- James has started England’s last two games and was expected to be a key player
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
Reece James faces a race to be fit for the World Cup after sustaining a serious knee ligament injury in Chelsea’s Champions League win over AC Milan.
As MailOnline revealed on Friday, the Chelsea and England right-back underwent a CT scan on Thursday which showed he suffered extensive ligament damage in the Blues’ 2-0 win at the San Siro, an injury that will rule him out for six to eight. weeks.
James, a first-choice defender for Gareth Southgate, was on crutches and wearing a brace yesterday. He will see a specialist this weekend, with the possibility of surgery.
Reece James (C) is at risk of missing the World Cup as he suffers from a knee injury
Losing James would be a blow to England boss Gareth Southgate (R) – the right-back was expected to play a vital role in his plans for Qatar
James, who is heartbroken at the prospect of missing the World Cup, hit his knee during a second-half challenge that eventually forced him off after attempting to play after brief treatment.
There had been indications after the match that the injury was not serious. He remained in Milan and was spotted walking unaided around the city before returning on an easyJet flight a day later than his teammates.
Chelsea manager Graham Potter said: “He spoke to me on Thursday and didn’t feel too bad.” But until you get these things checked, you never know, so we have to check with the specialist.
“There is no point looking at the doomsday scenario. We need to make sure he’s okay and then move on.
Potter is also without midfielder N’Golo Kante, who suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury and is set to miss France’s campaign in Qatar.
Kieran Trippier (L) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (R) are reportedly suitors to replace him
James, 22, is unlikely to be fit for England’s opener against Iran on November 21 but Southgate is likely to choose him from their extended 26-man squad.
It’s a new headache for Manchester City manager Kyle Walker, who is recovering from groin surgery, and will also be out of England’s opener.
Southgate also have Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold as right-back options, although the latter has been out for a fortnight and is in poor form.
Harry Maguire is set to return to Manchester United training which would ease Southgate’s defensive injury crisis.
Arsenal defender Ben White and Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings could enter the fray.
Aston Villa v Chelsea, tomorrow 2pm, LIVE on Sky Sports.
James has started all four of Graham Potter’s games since becoming Chelsea manager