‘I won’t rule myself out’: A defiant Reece James REFUSES to shut the door on World Cup hopes despite being on crutches and in a knee brace with less than a month until England’s World Cup opener… as Chelsea star vows to do all he can to make it to Qatar
- Chelsea star Reece James suffered a knee injury against AC Milan this month
- James faces a race against time to be fit for Gareth Southgate’s England squad
- The full-back was expected to be first choice for the Three Lions in Qatar
- James won’t give up on the World Cup, despite currently being unable to run
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
James injured himself against AC Milan in the Champions League earlier this month and is still on crutches, while his knee remains in a brace.
Chelsea boss Graham Potter has previously said he is worried the injury has a timescale of eight weeks out, which would put James’ World Cup participation in serious doubt.
Chelsea and England defender Reece James has refused to give up on his World Cup hopes
The full-back is currently out with a knee injury and is on crutches, while his knee is in a brace
Gareth Southgate names his final 26-man squad on November 10 but the Blues star is refusing to give up hope that he may be fit enough to make it.
‘I need to keep working hard over the next few weeks and see where I am on call-up day,’ he told The Sun.
‘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.’
James had established himself as a first choice defender for England over their recent games
James had been enjoying another fine season for Chelsea and he had also looked to have nailed down a starting spot in Southgate’s first choice XI.
The flying full-back played the full 90 minutes of both of the September internationals against Italy and Germany, and highlighted his frustrations at the timing of the injury.
He said: ‘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.
‘He (Gareth Southgate) asked me how I was, how bad it was but it was not in-depth (conversation)’
James, who is yet to start running again, also explained how the injury is much worse than he had initially feared.
The Chelsea star has vowed to do all he can to make the Three Lions final squad for Qatar
He said: ‘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.’
England start their World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21 and James will do all he can to prove his fitness to avoid what is a cruel mishap in the 22-year-old’s burgeoning career.