Reece James has broken his silence following the news that he will miss England’s World Cup team due to a knee injury, confessing he is ‘devastated.’
The revelation that the right-back will not be fit in time to go to Qatar has handed a big blow to Three Lions coach Gareth Southgate, with supporters equally disappointed by his absence.
He suffered the injury during Chelsea’s 2-0 win over AC Milan last month and has been working hard in training – but just ran out of time.
As Southgate prepares to reveal his World Cup team on Thursday, he will have to choose between Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Kyle Walker, who is also aiming to be healthy in time for the tournament after suffering an injury.
For the first time since learning he will not play in the World Cup, James acknowledged his heartbreak at losing out – and believes he did everything he could to be ready for Southgate’s squad this winter.
‘I’m devastated,’ he tweeted. ‘I knew the turnaround to make the World Cup would be tight the moment I damaged my knee, but I always thought it was feasible.’
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‘I pushed harder than I ever imagined I could to give myself the best opportunity of going, and I honestly believed I could assist the squad.’
‘I recognise that there was danger on both sides, but it was a risk I was ready to accept.’ Best wishes to the lads. I’ll be right back. ‘Be safe and send love.’
Last week, James talked with Southgate to provide an update on his recuperation from a knee injury.
James was the most hampered in his recuperation of the three injured people. He’s only recently begun running, and even then he’s not running hard.
In the next days, he plans to ramp up his rehabilitation programme by adding more twists to his jogging, which will put his ailing knee to the test.
But Southgate’s doubts over James’ availability for the tournament proved to be the telling factor, even though the player believed he could feature in the latter stages.