Reece James has established himself as a key player for Chelsea and England over the past several years, but the World Cup is still uncertain for him.
After suffering a serious knee injury, Chelsea defender Reece James isn’t giving up on his dream of representing England at the World Cup in Qatar next month.
James, an England international, injured his knee earlier this month during a 2-0 victory over AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League. He is currently using crutches and has his leg in a brace. The 22-year-old has made an impact for the Blues thus far this season, contributing to
four goals in his 11 games.
Early signs showed that James’ injury was not serious, but additional scans revealed that the damage’s extent was worse than first anticipated, according to reports. Since the Three Lions star does not require surgery, his rehabilitation period might allow him to participate in the World Cup.
James, 22, is continuing his rehabilitation and recovery process. He hopes to resume running in the coming days, beginning in a swimming pool. James stated in an interview with The Sun that he needs to keep training hard over the coming weeks to see where he stands on call-up day.
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“I will try and not rule myself out. It is still slow and in the early stages. I have been in rehab for two weeks, so I am still taking it day-by-day. The Chelsea medical staff have not given me a percentage of my chance of being back for the World Cup. It is down to how I feel closer to the time and how stable it is.
“It is going to be very tough. It is an injury which could take a long time and it came at an awkward period but I am trying my best and hopefully it is possible and if it is not, I know I tried everything.”
🗣 Reece James: "I need to keep working hard over the next few weeks and see where I am on call-up day. I will try not to rule myself out. It is still slow and in the early stages. I have been in rehab for two weeks, so I am still taking it day-by-day." "Chelsea medical staff have not given me a percentage of my chance of being back for the World Cup. It is down to how I feel closer to the time and how stable it is. It is going to be very tough." 🤞 #CFC
James wants nothing more than to be included in Gareth Southgate‘s England World Cup squad, but he is cautious to take any risks in his recovery. The defender for Chelsea continued: “I am trying to be positive. I am not not sure how long this injury will take. I am not in pain. But if I try to speed it up, it might be a bit of a risk. I am trying hard every day to improve and make it right and get fit as soon as possible.
“You are more gutted in the early stages of the injury and then you have to get your head around it. I don’t know when I will be able to run again. I ask that question every day but the medical team do not give many answers.
“You don’t go from walking to running. That is a difficult thing about injuries — you have to do it in stages, so I have to start running in the pool first. Hopefully, this will be in the coming days.
“Each day, I come in and get assessed and then I go on electric machines and receive therapy. I go to the gym and the pool. After that, more treatment.”
James has revealed how he has stayed in touch with Southgate and his England teammates who are also recovering from injuries ahead of the World Cup. James has acknowledged that he initially “felt fine” after this challenge with Theo Hernandez that caused the injury. Added the 22-year-old: “It was just one challenge.
“The ball was mid-air, I tried to stud it down but my foot got caught and I got barged to the side and my leg went out. I felt like I could have carried on but we were 2-0 up and they were down to ten men so I thought it was best to stop.
“It felt fine. We did tests and it seemed like I tweaked it and only when I came back I realised it was not too good. It was a big blow. Especially when you don’t think it is bad and then get told it is quite bad.
“He [Southgate] asked me how I was, how bad it was but it was not in-depth. I played in the England games and thought I played reasonably well. So to then get injured before the World Cup is not what you want.
“I have not spoken to Kalvin [Phillips] but I spoke to Kyle [Walker] after his surgery. It is tough for all of us. These things happen in football and hopefully the other players in the England squad will stay fit.”
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James is eager to return to the field for his new manager Graham Potter after being impressed with the new management since Thomas Tuchel was removed. The English international added:
“He has done well and the performances have been good. I have spoken to him a couple of times since the injury but he has not really known what to say.
“He just tells me to keep working hard and to be back as soon as I can for club and country.