Reece James will continue his injury rehabilitation in Dubai this week as he bids to save his World Cup dream.
The Chelsea defender suffered knee ligament damage against AC Milan on October 11 and is in a race to prove his fitness and be included in the England squad for Qatar.
Scans revealed earlier this month that James faced eight weeks out, which would rule him out of the entire group stage of the World Cup and leave England manager Gareth Southgate with a huge decision to make.
But James has not given up on going to Qatar and hopes to recover quicker than medics first expected. The right wing-back has been undergoing rehabilitation in London but will fly to Dubai this week to continue his programme there.
James will be joined in Dubai by Wesley Fofana, who is currently recovering from a knee injury and is also bidding to prove his fitness to France ahead of the World Cup.
A Chelsea statement said: “Reece James and Wesley Fofana will continue their rehabilitation programmes this week in Dubai. A member of the Chelsea medical department will accompany them.”
Southgate is due to name his 26-man World Cup squad on November 10. After scans showed James was set to be out for eight weeks, the 22-year-old tweeted earlier this month: “The race against time is on… but we won’t give up.”
James will not play for Chelsea again before the Premier League breaks for the tournament. Without him, the Blues were thrashed 4-1 at Brighton on Saturday as Graham Potter endured a miserable return to his former club.
Being without James would be a major blow to England, who are also sweating on the fitness of Kyle Walker. The Manchester City defender is out with groin injury but Pep Guardiola has said he is “optimistic” about his World Cup chances.