Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has revealed the club will request that Reece James is omitted from the England squad for upcoming friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast.
The wing-back only recently made his comeback from a hamstring tear suffered at the end of 2021, before injuring a muscle injury in his other leg and being sidelined again for a number of weeks.
However, having missed his club’s last two matches, James was still included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the March international break when it was announced on Thursday.
The defender had returned to individual training in midweek, and Tuchel suggested he was in with a chance of facing Middlesbrough in Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final.
However, speaking after the comfortable 2-0 victory, Tuchel claimed his player was actually a week short of full fitness, and revealed club technical and performance advisor Petr Cech would speak to England boss Southgate about James not joining up with the rest of the group.
“Petr will have this chat because of course the recommendation is that he does not go,” the Chelea coach said. “He’s still in individual training otherwise we would have brought him to Lille and we would have brought him here.
“He needs one more week of individual rehabilitation and I think we can provide this much better. It’s not the job of the national team to do this.”
Tuchel also provided a fitness update on goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and midfielder Jorginho, both of whom were absent for the cup tie on Teesside.
“Kepa is ill and we gave Jorgi the chance to have a pause,” he continued. “He [Jorginho] played six in a row over 90 minutes and now he has two crucial games with Italy, not only physically but also mentally, so I decided he could that he can have a break and does not need to do the travel with us.”