Chelsea fullback Reece James targets new playing return date

Chelsea fullback Reece James aims to be fit for the resumption of the Premier League after the World Cup.

The 22-year-old was told by England coach Gareth Southgate in a phone call on Tuesday night that he would not make the 26-man party travelling to Qatar. The England manager explained how he can’t take a risk on James, who is recovering from a knee injury, as he prepares to announce his squad tomorrow afternoon.

James will now switch focus to making Chelsea’s first match after the World Cup in late December. He had previously been described as ‘optimistic’ about his chances of recovery in time for the Qatar tournament and just hours before Southgate’s call began running on grass for the first time since after coming off injured against AC Milan on October 11.

James has been in Dubai with a member of Chelsea’s medical staff to speed up his recovery.

If they win away at Man City tonight, they will play the fourth round of the Carabao Cup in the week commencing December 19. James could make that match or, should they get knocked out of the cup, the following Premier League match on December 27 against Bournemouth, says the London Evening Standard.