Chelsea right-back Reece James is set for a spell on the sidelines after the injury he suffered against AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League, according to football.london.
It turns out the knee injury he suffered is worse than feared. James pulled up around the 66th minute after a challenge from Theo Hernandez. The Cobham academy graduate required treatment on the pitch and tried to continue.
The 22-year-old went off for Cesar Azpilicueta two minutes later. James joined his teammates on the pitch to celebrate after the full-time whistle and stayed in Milan on Wednesday to explore the city. The first scans showed positive results.
However, the latest and more extensive scans did not hold more good news. They fear the player could miss the 2022 World Cup.
Chelsea and the player will decide whether he should get surgery. But with the World Cup around the corner, they could opt for conservative treatment.
Chelsea will miss James, as he is one of the key components of their squad. He delivers good performances consistently, and they will struggle to replace him.
James’ place with Gareth Southgate is under threat due to this injury. He was set to get on the trip to Qatar.
James is arguably the most well-rounded and in-form England right-backs at the moment. He has two goals and two assists from 13 appearances this season.
James was impressive over the two Milan games, helping to shut down the dangerous Rafael Leao. In the second leg, he helped contain Leao and Hernandez.
His prowess in attack and sturdiness in defence is why Southgate prefers him over Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Despite an array of talents at right-back, Southgate will be sweating over James’ fitness. Kyle Walker just had surgery, while Alexander-Arnold is also out with an injury.
Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier is the last man standing for Southgate, with Djed Spence yet to feature extensively for Antonio Conte.