Reece James, Chelsea’s star defender suffered yet another injury blow and he has withdrawn from the England squad on Saturday, 25th of March, 2023, ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine.
James, the England right-back has endured an injury-plagued season and missed the FIFA World Cup in Qatar at the end of last year due to a knee issue.
The 23-year-old England player has just returned to the Chelsea fold and made an appearance off the bench for the Three Lions in their historic victory over Italy on Thursday, 23rd of March, 2023, in Naples.
According to reports, James has sustained a hamstring injury which both the player and Chelsea hope is only nominal.
Graham Potter will be hoping that James’s absence is only preventative, especially considering Chelsea’s schedule.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, their 23-year-old star player has missed more than half of their Premier League games this season due to injury.
On December 27 against Bournemouth, his return was cut short as he suffered a recurrence of the same injury after only 53 minutes of play.
James made his second comeback in February, but he missed another two games this month due to a hamstring injury and sickness.
He has only been able to play in 18 games for Chelsea this season in all competitions.
James has also been forced to pull out of the England team due to injury, joining Marcus Rashford, Mason Mount, and Nick Pope.
Three starters for Thursday’s game against Italy Rashford, Mount, and Pope withdrew earlier this week due to a knock.
The England boss will be missing informed Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford, who bowed out of the team last week and has been spotted on vacation in New York with his partner in recent days.
Southgate, manager of the Three Lions, gave a veiled warning to the red-hot Marcus Rashford on Thursday, saying that competition for starting spots in England’s front line is as fierce as it has ever been during his tenure.
He added, “Well, the sense was that he was playing pretty well, but we haven’t often had him.”
On the other hand, Luke Shaw’s red card in Naples means he will miss Sunday’s game against Ukraine.
Southgate is not likely to add any new players to the group for Sunday’s game against Ukraine, according to Sky Sports.
England will not call up a substitute for James at this time, even though neither Ben White, who has shone for Arsenal this season, nor Trent Alexander-Arnold, were selected for the squad.
Regardless, Gareth Southgate has plenty of alternatives at right backs, with veterans Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier both in the running to play against Ukraine.
What’s next for Reece James and Chelsea?
The Blues will play Aston Villa at home again on Saturday, 1st of April, 2023. After that, they will take on Liverpool and Wolves at home before traveling to Madrid for the opening leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.