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Chelsea confirm Reece James is set to spend TWO MONTHS out with knee injury in huge blow for England

Chelsea confirm Reece James is set to spend TWO MONTHS on the sidelines with a knee injury – despite not needing surgery – in a MAJOR blow to Gareth Southgate… with the England right-back set to miss the World Cup

  • Chelsea full-back Reece James met with a specialist in London on Saturday
  • The 22-year-old has decided not to have surgery on his knee ligament injury 
  • An expected two-month recovery window means he is set to miss the World Cup
  • Gareth Southgate must decide if it is worth taking the injured star to Qatar

Reece James is expected to be ruled out for two months with the knee injury he sustained in Chelsea’s win over AC Milan after seeing a specialist in London on Saturday.

James, 22, was on course to be England’s first-choice right-back at the upcoming World Cup, but Chelsea have confirmed their academy graduate is set to spend eight weeks on the sidelines while undergoing a rehabilitation programme.

That leaves Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate with a major selection crisis on his hands, with his star defender now almost certain to miss the tournament – which begins for them against Iran in just over five weeks’ time.

Chelsea star Reece James has met with a specialist in London after picking up a knee injury

James went down clutching his knee during Chelsea's Champions League win over AC Milan

James went down clutching his knee during Chelsea’s Champions League win over AC Milan

Chelsea said in a statement on Saturday night: ‘Following the knee injury sustained in our away match against AC Milan, Reece has received treatment from the Chelsea medical department and visited a specialist this weekend.

‘After consultation between all parties, Reece will now undergo a rehabilitation programme and is expected to be out for eight weeks.’

Fans were initially worried when James went down clutching his knee at the San Siro, and scans on Thursday showed he has sustained major ligament damage.

His recovery period could be shortened depending on how he responds to his rehabilitation plan, but Chelsea’s academy star now faces the realistic prospect of missing the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate has been dealt a defensive injury crisis ahead of the World Cup in Qatar

Gareth Southgate has been dealt a defensive injury crisis ahead of the World Cup in Qatar 

James adds to an already-lengthy injury list at right-back for England with Walker and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold out of action for their clubs too.

Southgate could use Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier as a right-back option while Arsenal defender Ben White and Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings could also come into contention as the 52-year-old looks to finalise his England squad.

James won’t play again before the start of the World Cup on November 20, meaning at best Southgate will face the prospect of building up the defender’s fitness during the tournament. 

James now faces the prospect of missing two months of football after his recent knee injury

James now faces the prospect of missing two months of football after his recent knee injury

Chelsea boss Graham Potter, speaking at his press conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Aston Villa, said: ‘He’s due to see a specialist over the weekend. Until we get that, there’s not too much I can add. It would be speculation on my perspective.

‘Let’s wait and see. There is no point looking in the doomsday scenario yet.’

James has been a crucial figure in Chelsea’s campaign so far this season, starting seven of their eight Premier League matches, with the Blues sitting fourth in the Premier League.

He has so far earned 15 caps for England, with supporters heaping praise on the youngster for his attacking creativity and defensive prowess in one-v-one situations.

James, who will understandably be heartbroken at the prospect of missing the World Cup, faces a race against time to prove his fitness as Southgate prepares to name his expanded 26-man squad.

Southgate (right) may be forced into taking an injured James to the World Cup in November

Southgate (right) may be forced into taking an injured James to the World Cup in November

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