REECE JAMES will spend the next month wearing a knee brace – shattering his World Cup dream.
But Chelsea boss Graham Potter defended the decision to give the England star a lengthy break before beginning treatment for the injury, which has effectively ended his hopes of playing in Qatar.
The right-back was allowed to stay in Milan last Wednesday after a 2-0 Champions League win on Tuesday – and then flew home on a low-cost airline instead of Chelsea’s private jet.
Potter said, “Nothing has gotten any worse because we behaved then.
“Now we have to support him and make him strong.
“Regarding his involvement in the World Cup, I don’t know – it will depend on how he recovers.
“He’ll give it his all, I’m sure. But he’s been in a brace for four weeks and it’s slowing things down.
“The boys had a few days off and it’s especially important for the national players to give them a break if possible.
“Then Reece felt a bit unwell the next day, came home and we had it checked out as soon as possible.
“He’s obviously disappointed, upset because he’s injured.”
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England manager Gareth Southgate watched Chelsea beat Aston Villa 2-0 in James’ absence but will be frustrated that one of his best players has been eliminated from the tournament.
England’s first World Cup game is against Iran on November 21 – just under a week after James is due to have his knee brace removed.
He was initially thought to have snapped his leg when he was substituted against AC Milan – but knee ligament damage was diagnosed.
James, 22, remains optimistic and refuses to give up competing in the World Cup and Potter has vowed to support his ailing star.
Potter said, “It would not be my job to predict what will happen. He will be in a corset for four weeks.
“That’s all I know, that has implications for what he needs to do to get fit.”
England are currently short of right-backs with Manchester City’s Kyle Walker recovering from surgery and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold struggling with poor form.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6456773/reece-james-knee-brace-month-world-cuengland/ Chelsea star Reece James will wear a knee brace for a month while England’s World Cup dreams are all but over