Reece James has not given up on his dream of playing for England in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar later in November.
The defender have been flown to Dubai in a last-ditch effort to speed up his recovery from a knee injury sustained in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over AC Milan.
The Chelsea star is racing against the clock to prove his fitness and be named to Gareth Southgate’s 26-man England squad for the trip to Qatar.
James has been given an eight-week timetable to fully recover from his injury, with the Three Lions squad expected to be selected in half that time.
Southgate is set to name his squad on November 10, but he may be forced to leave first-choice right winger James at home.
James, 22, was accompanied by Chelsea teammate Wesley Fofana to Dubai on Monday, October 31, 2022.
Fofana is also hoping to keep his World Cup dream alive by being called up to the French national team, who are the reigning champions after winning the tournament in 2018.
He, too, is nursing a knee injury sustained against Milan, though his occurred during Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over the Italians at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea stated in a club statement: “Reece James and Wesley Fofana will continue their rehabilitation programmes this week in Dubai.”
“A member of the Chelsea medical department will accompany them.”
Prior to his injury, James had been in brilliant form for Chelsea, and Graham Potter’s side is now clearly lacking the thrust and defensive nous he provides on the right flank.
The fitness of Kyle Walker has already been a major source of concern for England, and with James also struggling to stay fit, Kieran Trippier could be drafted into the first team.
Meanwhile, Trent Alexander-Arnold, despite his less-than-stellar season, may now find himself in the squad.
After suffering an injury scare during Arsenal’s 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest, Bukayo Saka has also given England an injury boost.
In an exclusive interview with SunSport, James recently revealed that he has previously received vile racist abuse from online trolls.
Will Reece James Recover Before The World Cup?
James insists that he still has time to recover from the knee injury that is threatening to keep him out of the World Cup, which begin on November 20.
The 22-year-old right-back injured his knee in Chelsea’s 2-0 Champions League win over AC Milan on October 11 – an injury that Graham Potter predicted would keep him out of the tournament for eight weeks.
Despite the fact that Gareth Southgate has yet to name his 26-man squad, James believes he still has a chance to play in the Middle East.
“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.”
Before he got injured this season, Reece James had played 11 times in all competitions scoring two goals and providing two assists.