Reece James won't play for Chelsea at Club World Cup

Krishan Davis
James has been out injured
James has been out injured / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Chelsea defender Reece James will not play at the FIFA Club World Cup despite being included in the Blues' squad for the tournament.

The England international has been sidelined for five weeks after tearing his hamstring in the 1-1 draw with Brighton at Stamford Bridge on 29 December. He had been due to return earlier in February but suffered a setback when he came down with the flu, leading head coach Thomas Tuchel to rule him out of the Club World Cup campaign.

James was then a surprise inclusion in the group when Chelsea's travelling party flew out to Abu Dhabi following the FA Cup victory over Plymouth on Saturday.

However, Tuchel's assistant Zsolt Low has now explained James' presence, confirming that the 22-year-old has "no chance" of playing at the tournament.

Speaking in a press conference ahead of the Blues' semi-final clash against Al Hilal on Wednesday, Low - who was standing in in Tuchel's Covid-enforced absence - said: "Reece James, no chance he'll play in the cup.

"He's in a good way but will miss still some days. He's here to enjoy the group again."

Low also provided an update on goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who is set to join up with the squad late having won the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal on Sunday.

He added: "Mendy will arrive probably later today or tomorrow and we'll see how tired he is. He has to arrive first, we have to check him and talk to him. We'll see if it's possible he plays, maybe."

Chelsea's Club World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcus Bettinelli

Defenders: Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, Malang Sarr, Marcos Alonso, Reece James, Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah

Midfielders: Jorginho, Kenedy, Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Saul

Forwards: Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku

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