File image of Reece James© AFP
Reece James confirmed Wednesday he had been ruled out of the World Cup, with the England right-back saying he was “devastated” at failing to overcome a knee injury. The 22-year-old was all set to be included in England’s squad for Qatar, having started the last four matches for Gareth Southgate’s team, until suffering the injury playing for Chelsea against AC Milan in the Champions League on October 11. The Premier League club confirmed on Saturday that James was expected to be out for eight weeks, meaning he would not be fit until after the group stage of the World Cup.
But a day before England manager Southgate names his 26-man squad, James announced the end of his hopes of playing in this year’s World Cup with a Twitter post. “Devastated,” he wrote. “The minute I injured my knee, I knew the turn around to make the World Cup would be tight, but I always felt it was possible.
“I’ve worked harder than I ever thought I could to give myself the best chance of going and truly believed I could help the team. I appreciate there was risk on both sides but it was one I was willing to take.”
He added: “Good luck to the boys. I’ll be back soon. Stay safe and sending love.”
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