Chelsea head coach Graham Potter says the injured Reece James will “give everything” in his race to qualify for England’s World Cup squad.
The defender is out for eight weeks after suffering a knee injury during the Blues’ Champions League win over AC Milan on Tuesday.
But the 23-year-old is clinging to his hopes of playing in the World Cup starting on November 21, when England kick off their campaign against Iran.
While Potter is unsure about James’ chances of showing up in Qatar, the Chelsea boss is insisting the full-back won’t go down without a fight.
The race against time continues… But we will not give up.
— Reece James (@ReeceJames) October 15, 2022
“As for his participation in the World Cup, I don’t know. It will depend on how he recovers,” he said after the Blues’ 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
“He will give everything. I’m sure he will. But he’s been in a corset for four weeks now, and it’s slowing everything down.
“He is naturally disappointed, naturally upset, because he is injured because of us. He skips games for us when he had a fantastic moment.
“His performance at Milan was unbelievable in both games, so he is in good shape and, as you can imagine, he is very upset by the injury.
“He will fight, try his best to come back as quickly as possible, and when he does, he will be a top player.
“I wouldn’t have been able to predict what would happen. He’ll be in a corset for four weeks and that matters in terms of what he needs to do to get back in shape after that, but our job is just to help him in the short term and get him back.”
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 16, 2022
Chelsea’s resurgence under Potter continued with a 2-0 victory over Villa Park. The former Brighton boss has won five in a row for the first time in his managerial career.
Meanwhile, the Blues have won four consecutive triumphs in all competitions without conceding a defeat, and for the first time since March in a row in the Premier League.
“I think it’s a collective desire to do ugly things in the game; the collective idea of helping each other and being together,” Potter said.
“If we have to suffer, we will suffer. We have modesty and we know that sometimes the opponent can get the better of us, which is normal in football.
“But you can see players running and you can see players making it difficult for their bodies to block shots. It’s an important part of the game because we have quality in the group.”