It’s not truly an international break until we have at least one injury concern, and that extremely dubious honor belongs to Reece James this time, who’s withdrawn from the England squad and returned to Chelsea.
The official statement from England does not specify the exact nature of the injury, just says that it’s an “ongoing issue”. Subsequent reports have claimed that it’s a hamstring problem and that the decision to withdraw is hoped to be precautionary.
“Reece James has withdrawn from the England squad and will not feature against Ukraine on Sunday. The full-back has returned to Chelsea for assessment on an ongoing issue.”
-England statement; source: Chelsea FC
Like fellow Chelsea teammate Conor Gallagher, Reece made just a five-minute cameo at the end of the 2-1 win against Italy in Naples on Thursday (so how is it an “ongoing” issue?). Ben Chilwell, who’s also in the squad, was an unused substitute.
Reece James has withdrawn from the England squad with what is described as a minor hamstring injury and returned to Chelsea. Player and club hope it is precautionary.— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) March 25, 2023
James’s injuries have been a defining feature of our last two seasons. He’s only recently returned from a multi-month knee injury, while he missed a couple months last season as well with a hamstring problem. Chelsea’s play and results have suffered significantly in his absence.
Hopefully this one is indeed minor, though I’m not sure there is such a thing as a “minor” hamstring injury.