Injury expert 'can't believe' James twist at Chelsea after setback
There has clearly been a mix-up between Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel and Gareth Southgate over the severity of Reece James’ injury.
So says injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in medicine and data analysis.
James has not played since he suffered an ankle sprain in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Man City on 25 September.
However, he was named by England manager Gareth Southgate in the 23-man squad for the upcoming matches against Andora and Hungary.
Tuchel was bewildered to learn the news and revealed that James was still training in the pool as part of his injury rehab.
“I thought maybe Reece was called up to the England water polo team,” he jested when questioned by Sky Sports on 1 October.
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Dinnery insists there must have been crossed wires between the England and Chelsea camps.
“I’ve been following this really closely,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.
“The mechanism of injury looked like a high ankle sprain. That can double the amount of time it takes to recover when compared to a normal ankle sprain.
“Tuchel initially came out around the time of the Juventus game and said that it would be a minimum of another week.
“Then Gareth Southgate came out and said that he had spoken to Chelsea and that Reece James was expected to be involved next weekend.
“When Tuchel was questioned over this, his response was so comical, as we know. I couldn’t believe it.
“So there must have been some level of miscommunication or misunderstanding on Gareth Southgate’s part.
“Did it come as a surprise to me? Certainly not after what we witnessed in that Man City game.”