Reports - Gareth Southgate leaves Chelsea star out of England squad for the FIFA World Cup 2022

Gareth Southgate has decided against naming Chelsea star Reece James to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup. The defender was confident of regaining full fitness before the final squad was announced, but the manager has decided not to take a risk.

Southgate is contacting players to inform them of their status, and reports suggest the process started last night.

Sky Sports‘ report suggests the Chelsea star has not recovered from his knee injury and will not be making it to Qatar. The report adds that the full-back and his family are naturally disheartened by the news.

Southgate is set to announce his squad for the World Cup on Thursday.

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Chelsea star was fighting against time to make World Cup squad

Chelsea star Reece James suffered a knee injury against AC Milan last month. He flew to Dubai to undergo an intensive rehabilitation program in an attempt to be ready for the World Cup.

He spoke to The Sun about his plans to regain full fitness and said:

“I need to keep working hard over the next few weeks and see where I am on call-up day. 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 manager Graham Potter confirmed that the defender had started light training. In his pre-match press conference ahead of the Carabao Cup clash against Manchester City, he said:

“Reece was outside today having a little jog, but there is nothing to report in terms of anything else. There is no timeframe [to return]. It is just how he responds. We don’t want to rush anything, and I certainly don’t want to put any timescales on it. That is for him, the doctors, and physios.”

Reece James has just a month to gain full fitness and return to the pitch for Chelsea by the end of December.

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