The Football Association are angry at the way Chelsea treated Reece James after he suffered an injury against AC Milan in midweek, according to reports.
England international James is set to miss the World Cup with the Blues confirming that the knee injury will rule him out for eight weeks.
A short statement on Chelsea’s website read: “Following the knee injury sustained in our away match against AC Milan, Reece has received treatment from the Chelsea medical department and visited a specialist this weekend.
“After consultation between all parties, Reece will now undergo a rehabilitation programme and is expected to be out for eight weeks.”
James played 90 minutes in both of England’s recent Nations League matches against Italy and Germany with the Chelsea wing-back widely expected to start in Gareth Southgate’s XI.
And the Daily Mail claim that the FA are ‘fuming’ that Chelsea allowed James to have a day off in Milan with his team-mates after picking up a serious knee injury.
Chelsea boss Graham Potter ‘gave him permission to stay in Milan to spend a day off with team-mates rather than returning to London for immediate treatment’.
The FA ‘queried why James was allowed to stay in Milan’ given the serious nature of his injury and the impact it could now have on Southgate’s squad for the World Cup.
The report adds:
‘James returned to London on an easyJet plane without medical support and his knee was not in a brace, though he was given extra leg room on the flight. Earlier in the day he had posed for pictures with Chelsea fans while appearing to be sightseeing in Milan.’
Chelsea are ‘standing by their handling of James’ despite the FA insisting that James ‘should have returned to London straight away’.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker recently picked up injuries too with England facing a potential injury crisis on the right side of defence.
But Southgate recently admitted that “realistically we will lose more” players ahead of the mid-season World Cup.
After hearing England will face Italy, Ukraine, North Macedonia and Malta in their Euro 2024 qualifying group, Southgate said: “It’s not something we can control.
“I’ve said all along that I’ve never bought into the theory that it’s better for us to be playing in the middle of the season than at the end, because we haven’t had a problem with playing at the end. I always felt that was a bit of a myth.
“What I see is a really packed schedule now, a lot of players playing a lot of minutes, and realistically we will lose more. I just think it’s so intense and the players have had so much football.”
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