England defender Reece James misses out on FIFA World Cup with knee injury football news

Chelsea and England defender Reece James will miss the World Cup in Qatar after a Premier League club confirmed on Saturday that he will be out for eight weeks with a knee injury. James, who had established himself as Gareth Southgate’s first-choice right winger internationally, went lame in Chelsea’s 2-0 Champions League win against AC Milan on Tuesday.

“Following a knee injury during our away match against Milan, Reece was treated by the Chelsea medical service and saw a specialist this weekend,” the Blues said in a statement.

“Following consultations between all parties, Rees will now be undergoing a rehabilitation program and is expected to be out for eight weeks.”

England started their World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21 in less than five weeks.

James will also miss Chelsea’s next nine games before the World Cup.

The news comes as a blow to England’s World Cup hopes as Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker also faces a race to get fit for Qatar after undergoing back surgery.

James and Walker’s flexibility to play on the right or the back of the three defenders allowed Southgate to move from one formation to the next.

But the England manager had predicted he would lose players before the World Cup due to the demands of the club’s schedule.


“What I see is a very busy schedule with a lot of players playing for many minutes,” Southgate said last week.

“I think we will actually lose more. It’s so intense and the players play so much football.

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