‘No miracles’ as James battles to be fit for World Cup

Chelsea boss Graham Potter has played down Reece James’ chances of overcoming his injury in time for the World Cup.

It follows reports that Blues star James could make a ‘miracle’ recovery from a knee problem in time to feature for England at the tournament in Qatar.

“No miracles,” was Potter’s blunt response at a press conference on Tuesday morning.

Potter also confirmed that keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is still struggling with a foot injury and it is not yet clear whether the Spaniard will be fit for the World Cup.

And Jorginho is a doubt for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie at Manchester City because of a foot problem.

Youngsters Omari Hutchinson and Lewis Hall have been included in the squad for the trip to the Eithad Stadium and could feature.

Meanwhile, Mateo Kovacic continues to manage an ongoing knee problem but Potter believes the Croatia midfielder will be fine for the World Cup.

“He’s had an ongoing knee issue that has led to a little bit of discomfort, but it’s not stopped him completely,” Potter explained.

“It’s not a massive problem for him and he’ll be fine for the World Cup. I wouldn’t say he is 100%, but he’s not far off that.

“He is a top professional and has done everything he can in terms of rehab, looking after himself in the gym, and making sure his body is as good as it can be. He is a fantastic professional.

“But it’s been going on since pre-season and we’ve tried to make the best of it.”

James has been out since limping off during the Champions League game away to AC Milan last month.

“Reece was out today having a jog. We don’t want to rush anything or put a timescale on it,” said Potter.

“Kepa is still unavailable. He has to take it day by day. It’s down to how he responds to pain and how comfortable he feels.”