England’s Reece James to miss FIFA World Cup due to knee injury

England right back James sustained the injury in the Champions League in October.

Chelsea defender Reece James has 15 caps for England.

Chelsea defender Reece James has 15 caps for England. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

England right back James sustained the injury in the Champions League in October.

England right back Reece James will miss the World Cup in Qatar due to a knee injury, British media reported on Wednesday, a day before Gareth Southgate is due to name his 26-man squad for the tournament.

The 22-year-old defender, who has 15 caps, sustained the injury playing for Chelsea against AC Milan in the Champions League last month.

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In a news conference on Tuesday, Chelsea manager Graham Potter had said James was only taking part in light training. “No miracles, unfortunately,” he added of James’ recovery. “He’s progressing well. Reece was outside today, had a little jog, but nothing to report in terms of anything else.”

England opens its World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21.

The 22-year-old James, who has 15 caps, said he was “devastated” to miss the cut from Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for the tournament, which is due to be announced on Thursday.

“Devastated,” he tweeted. “The minute I injured my knee, I knew the turn around to make the World Cup would be tight, but I always felt it was possible. I’ve worked harder than I ever thought I could to give myself the best chance of going and truly believed I could help the team.

“I appreciate there was risk on both sides but it was one I was willing to take. Good luck to the boys. I’ll be back soon. Stay safe and sending love.”

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