Reece James hopeful of playing at World Cup despite knee injury

Henry Burt
James was likely to be England's first-choice right-back at the World Cup before getting injured
James was likely to be England's first-choice right-back at the World Cup before getting injured / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages
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Reece James says he has not yet given up hope of going to the World Cup with England next month, despite his chances of making the squad being dashed by a knee injury.

The 22-year-old enjoyed a starring role in the early games of the season and was all but certain to be Gareth Southgate's first choice at right-back in Qatar.

But an injury to his right knee, suffered during Chelsea's Champions League clash with AC Milan, means James is likely to miss the tournament.

Despite all signs pointing to James missing out on his first World Cup, the defender continues to maintain a positive outlook and is still hoping to make it onto the plane.

“I need to keep working hard over the next few weeks and see where I am on call-up day," James told The Sun. "I will try and not rule myself out. It is still slow and in the early stages.

"I have been in rehab for two weeks, so I am still taking it day-by-day.

“The Chelsea medical staff have not given me a percentage of my chance of being back for the World Cup.

"It is down to how I feel closer to the time and how stable it is."

Chelsea have been in a rich vein of form since hiring new manager Graham Potter but suffered a disappointing 4-1 defeat against Brighton on Saturday which saw the Blues drop out of the Premier League's top four.

Whether James will make it to the World Cup or not remains to be seen, but it is unlikely that he will feature again for his club until after the tournament in December.

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