Chelsea right-back James withdraws from England squad with injury concern

By Sports Desk March 25, 2023

Chelsea are assessing Reece James after he withdrew from the England squad for Sunday's Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine.

James' season has been ravaged by injury, limiting him to only 18 appearances for the Blues in all competitions.

A knee problem caused the right-back to miss the World Cup in Qatar, along with Chelsea team-mate Ben Chilwell.

James made his England return on Thursday, appearing from the bench for the final five minutes of a 2-1 qualifying win at Italy, only to suffer another setback.

"Reece James has withdrawn from the England squad and will not feature against Ukraine on Sunday," an England statement read.

"The full-back has returned to Chelsea for assessment on an ongoing issue.

"No replacements are planned as Gareth Southgate's squad, including the suspended Luke Shaw, continue their preparations at Tottenham Hotspur Training Ground."

England have Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier in their squad, but James' latest injury concern is perhaps a bigger blow to Chelsea.

Graham Potter's side resume their campaign on April 1 against Aston Villa, the first of three Premier League matches before their Champions League tie with Real Madrid.

European glory is Chelsea's only realistic remaining aim this season, sitting 10th in the league with 11 games to play.

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    “Tuesday to Sunday is enough (time), it is a dream,” he said. “We will recover well.

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    Yet despite opportunities for rest being minimal as last season’s treble winners again pursue glory on three fronts, Guardiola admits this time of year – with all its intensity – is what he relishes most.

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    United’s form throughout most of the season has been unconvincing and they face a tall order to finish in the top four.

    Manager Erik ten Hag’s future has been the subject of recurring speculation but Guardiola refused to offer an opinion on the reasons for United’s failures to sustain momentum.

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    The club captain has made just eight Premier League appearances this campaign and is at risk of missing out on a second international tournament in as many years, having been ruled out of the 2022 World Cup with a knee problem.

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    Despite establishing himself as a key figure for Chelsea when fit, James has so far made just a single major tournament appearance, starting for Gareth Southgate’s side in a goalless draw with Scotland at Euro 2020.

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    James will be one of seven players unavailable to Pochettino at Brentford on Saturday.

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    The manager reiterated his frustration at the impact injuries have had on his first season in charge.

    “When you start the season, you put in your head the idea of the potential of the squad,” he said. “When you think about Nkunku, Reece, (Ben) Chilwell or Fofana, Lavia, (Moises) Caicedo, you imagine the players in the best place, with all their potential.

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