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Chelsea and England defender Reece James. Image Credit: REUTERS

London: England’s Reece James will miss the World Cup in Qatar starting next month after his Premier League club Chelsea said that he will be sidelined for eight weeks due to a knee injury.

James, 22, sustained the injury late in the second half of Tuesday’s 2-0 victory at AC Milan in the Champions League and was withdrawn after receiving medical treatment on the pitch.

“Following the knee injury sustained in our away match against AC Milan, Reece has received treatment from the Chelsea medical department and visited a specialist this weekend,” Chelsea said in a statement.

“After consultation between all parties, Reece will now undergo a rehabilitation programme and is expected to be out for eight weeks.” The news is a blow for England manager Gareth Southgate with Kyle Walker also sidelined after having groin surgery this month, with the Manchester City right back in a race against time to be fit for the World Cup .

Ankle injury

Right back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was dropped from the England side for the September internationals, is also sidelined with an ankle injury.

The World Cup begins on Nov. 20, with England starting their group campaign a day later against Iran.

James, who has also played in a back three for Chelsea, will miss key games for the London side who are set to play nine more times before the World Cup, starting with Sunday’s league trip to Aston Villa.

James will miss key Premier League games against Manchester United and Arsenal as well as Manchester City in the League Cup before the season pauses for the World Cup and resumes in late December when Chelsea host Bournemouth on Dec. 26.