ENGLAND defender Reece James is reportedly ahead of schedule in his recovery from injury – so much so that he may make it to the World Cup.
James, 22, has left no stone unturned in his rebab in a desperate bid to be included in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad.
And according to the London Evening Standard, the defender is “optimistic” about being on the plane to Qatar.
They claim James has been stepping up his rehab in Dubai and has made better progress than first anticipated.
The Blues ace hopes Southgate could still take him to the Middle East, even if he will not be ready for the start of the tournament.
Chelsea and James have been in regular contact with the FA and Southgate over his recovery from injury, which he sustained in the west Londoners’ 2-0 Champions League win over AC Milan.
Southgate – who guided the Three Lions to the semi-finals at Russia 2018 – is set to announce his 26-man squad next Thursday.
Despite being forecast to be out until mid-December, James has remained optimistic about his chances of playing in his second major tournament.
He told SunSport: “I need to keep working hard over the next few weeks and see where I am on call-up day.
“I will try and not rule myself out. It is still slow and in the early stages.
“I have been in rehab for two weeks, so I am still taking it day by day.
“The Chelsea medical staff have not given me a percentage of my chance of being back for the World Cup.
“It is down to how I feel closer to the time and how stable it is.”