Reece James injury: Fresh setback for England as Chelsea defender forced to leave camp

·1-min read
 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Reece James has withdrawn from the England squad due to an “ongoing issue” and will return to Chelsea for further assessment.

The 23-year-old is now a doubt to face Aston Villa next weekend and will miss England’s match against Ukraine on Sunday, with no replacement being called up.

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Gareth Southgate will give a further update on the defender’s condition this afternoon after he returned for a late cameo in the tense 2-1 away in Italy to kick-off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

James’s fitness is an ongoing concern for club and country after he missed the World Cup and a host of important matches with a knee injury sustained in October.

He then re-injured that same knee on his return in December, before missing a further two matches due to a tight hamstring and illness.

In total, James has missed 24 matches for club and country this season, playing in just 23.

Luke Shaw will also miss Sunday’s match after being sent off at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Thursday night. However, he remains with the England squad in the build-up to facing Ukraine.

It leaves Southgate with just 21 players available having seen Mason Mount, Marcus Rashford and Nick Pope withdraw before the Italy game, replacing the trio with only Tottenham goalkeeper Fraser Forster.