Reece James will not play for Chelsea again before Christmas, but he’s doing everything in his power to still play for England before then.
He’s currently in Dubai, alongside teammate Wesley Fofana and one lucky member of the Chelsea medical department, presumably undergoing some sort of specialized individual rehab programme. Plus, he’s a lot closer to Qatar this way, should England manager Gareth Southgate end up still picking him.
And apparently that possibility hasn’t been ruled out just yet, with the Evening Standard’s Nizaar Kinsella reporting yesterday that James is “slightly ahead of schedule” and “has told friends he is confident he will be” in the squad — squads being bigger this year than in the past would be helpful as well. The 22-year-old is using his brace “less and less” already despite the initial expectation being that he would be in for four weeks (he’s about halfway through).
The report adds that Southgate “has not put any pressure” on James to push the edge of the recovery envelope; though it’s been quite obvious that it’s the player himself who’s trying to push himself beyond what is possible and perhaps what may be reasonable. Obviously, the World Cup dream is hard to let go, but hopefully James won’t do anything risky or ill-advised that might jeopardize things in the near- or long-term future. Plenty of career to go, Reecey!