The news that broke yesterday that Reece James was returning from England camp was met with total horror from Chelsea fans.
They feared the worst – and indeed it seems like another injury for the right back.
However Gareth Southgate was able to allay the worst fears by explaining that it was more just discomfort in the leg that was injured earlier this season rather than a new issue. It seems like an abundance of caution on James’ part after a couple of really serious issues than anything new or worrying.
The quotes from Southgate make it all sound very precautionary, and have made us feel that even an appearance next Friday against Aston Villa can’t be ruled out entirely if he’s able to train as normal with the Chelsea squad next week.
“Reece has gone back, he’s not completely happy with how his leg feels,” Southgate said in quotes picked up by the Evening Standard. “He was a little bit concerned about that earlier in the week.”
“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.”
Let’s hope Gareth is right and this is all temporary. As we’ve written a few times recently, James career seems to be at a big of a turning point now after two heavily disrupted seasons. He should not be taking any risks – and thankfully it seems he’s not.