Reece James was a key player for England before his run of injuries, starting in all four matches before the World Cup.
England manager Gareth Southgate has played down concerns over Reece James’ withdrawal from the England squad. He insists that both he and Chelsea are being “cautious” with the defender’s fitness.
The right-back has missed more matches than he has played for both club and country this season due to a serious knee injury. He is now delicately managing a hamstring issue.
The defender was a key player for England before his run of injuries, starting in all four matches before the World Cup.
Reece James is unavailable to stake his claim against Ukraine at Wembley on Sunday and Southgate gave full details of James’ withdrawal in his pre-match press conference.
“Reece has gone back, he’s not completely happy with how his leg feels,” Southgate said. “He was a little bit concerned about that earlier in the week.”
He also added: “I think, probably for him, the injury after the injury that ruled him out of the World Cup has made him a little more cautious at this moment in time. It probably needs some time.
“It is not unusual to have a serious injury and then smaller injuries on the back of that. With Reece, it is a case of building his resilience to load and him being comfortable with that.
“With him, the club tends to play a game and we are a bit more cautious on the next one. He is a really good player and he has got absolutely everything and could be anything he wants to be. This is a temporary thing and hopefully he can overcome that pretty quickly.”
Luke Shaw will also miss England’s match on Sunday after receiving two yellow cards against Italy. And Southgate says the door is open for a fit-again Ben Chilwell at left-back.
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