James reveals mental impact of 'toughest year to date' after another injury setback

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Reece James thanked Chelsea fans for their support after his "toughest year to date" ended with the right-back injured again.

It had looked like 2022 would be a year to remember for James for all the right reasons, starring for Chelsea and set to play a key role for England at Qatar 2022.

Yet injury robbed the defender of his World Cup dream, only returning from his knee problem in Tuesday's first Premier League match back against Bournemouth.

James' comeback was then cut short by an apparent setback, with Chelsea coach Graham Potter "concerned" afterwards and waiting for more news.

While there was no official word on James' status early on Wednesday, the England international revealed his mental toll in a downbeat Twitter post.

"2022 has been the toughest year to date," he wrote. "Just wanna thank you all for the support, none of you go unnoticed.

"It's naturally [affected] me mentally, I'm currently just [trying to] deal with the cards I've been dealt.

"I hope your end of year is filled with peace, joy & happiness."

Potter, quoted by BBC Sport, had added: "Not until you work with him do you see how good he is. He could play in any team in the world, and any team would miss him.

"The plan was to play 60 minutes [against Bournemouth], so now he's disappointed, of course. We hope it's not as bad as it was and he can have a speedy recovery."