Chelsea youngster Reece James has been dealt a fresh injury blow while training with England’s Under 21s ahead of games with Slovenia and Austria, and has withdrawn from Aidy Boothroyd’s squad.
The Football Association announced the defender’s departure (via Chelsea) alongside Blues product Trevoh Chalobah, who is currently on loan at Huddersfield Town, after James injured the same ankle that had kept the right-back out of action in the early weeks of the season.
James has withdrawn from Boothroyd’s Young Lions squad for England’s upcoming U21 games with Slovenia and Austria after injuring the same ankle that meant he missed the start of the season.
The 19-year-old had suffered the original blow while on international duty over the summer, and is now expected to report back to Chelsea’s Cobham training facilities next week for training where further assessments can be made (Daily Mail).
It is currently unclear how severe the blow sustained in training this week is, with Reece’s withdrawal seen as a precaution at this stage.
The London-born defender had been an unused substitute in Chelsea’s last two Premier League fixtures after making his season debut in the Blues’ 7-1 Carabao Cup victory Grimsby Town in September (TransferMarkt), when James scored and assisted goals after the break.
James, who spent last season on loan with Wigan Athletic, also featured for 67 minutes in Chelsea’s 2-1 win away to LOSC Lille in the Champions League.
But he is yet to make his debut for England at U21s level as a result of the injury suffered in the summer and his blow in training this week, while holding 23-caps to his name throughout the earlier age groups.
Chelsea will naturally be worried by news of James suffering another blow to the same ankle which kept him on the sidelines for the first month of the campaign, but word that he was withdrawn as a precaution should offer some hope that the blow was not a severe one.
James being set to return to training next week rather than having immediate scans would also suggest that he will not miss another lengthy stint of the season, meaning Blues boss Frank Lampard will likely have cover at right-back when the league season recommences next week.
If the issue is worse than first thought, though, Lampard will have to reconsider his plans in defence, as he would be relying on Cesar Azpilicueta staying fit with the Spaniard his only other recognised senior right-back (TransferMarkt).
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