Chelsea defender Reece James is reportedly confident of being included in the England 2022 World Cup, as he is ahead of schedule with his injury.
The 22-year-old suffered knee ligament damage in their 2-0 Champions League victory over AC Milan on October 11.
The Blues previously revealed that the extent of his injury could rule him out for up to eight weeks, putting his chances of featuring at the World Cup in Qatar in serious doubt.
James is in a race to get fit with the tournament starting in just a few weeks time as he has stepped up his rehabilitation alongside Chelsea team-mate Wesley Fofana in Dubai this week.
The right-back has been working in the gym and pool while Chelsea are sending ongoing reports to the FA about his fitness and knee stability.
With his recovery ahead of schedule, James is said to be confident that Gareth Southgate will name him in his 26-man squad for the World Cup, even if he has to miss the start of the tournament, according to The Evening Standard.
The same report suggests Southgate has had phone calls with the defender to keep updated on his progress.
James had been enjoying another fine season for Chelsea and he had also looked to have nailed down a starting spot in Southgate’s first choice XI.
The flying full-back played the full 90 minutes of both of the September internationals against Italy and Germany.
If he does get picked it will focused on the later stages of the tournament rather than the group-stages and could also depend on whether or not fellow right-back Kyle Walker is fit.
The Manchester City defender is also currently recovering from a groin injury and much like James is hopeful of being fit in time to be selected.
Southgate is due to name his official 26-man squad for the major tournament next Thursday with the Three Lions due to kick-off their World Cup campaign against Iran on Monday, November 21.