Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has revealed N’Golo Kante should be fully fit to return to action after the international break.
The French midfielder has missed Chelsea’s past two games with an ankle injury, having also seen his start to the new campaign affected by a knee problem suffered during the tail end of last season.
When will Kante return for Chelsea? Five things to know…
- Kante has missed Chelsea’s past two Premier League games.
- The Frenchman is suffering with an ankle injury picked up against Manchester United.
- Kante had also only recently returned from a knee injury which saw him miss most of Chelsea’s pre-season.
- As a result, Kante has been left out of France’s squad for the international break.
- And Lampard has revealed Kante should be fit to return for Chelsea’s game with Wolves on September 14.
Lampard recently called for France manager Didier Deschamps to leave Kante out of his squad for the upcoming international break, a request which was granted.
As a result, Kante will now be able to rest and focus on regaining full match fitness. And Lampard is hopeful, if all goes well during the break, Kante should be able to return for the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on September 14.
“I’m hoping N’Golo will be back for Wolves,” he told reporters.
“The medical team have said to me that with no setbacks he should be, and that will be a big boost.
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“And Pedro should be training by the middle of this week, so he should be fine for Wolves too.”
Kante and Pedro are just two of several first-team players Chelsea have had to managed without in parts at the start of the season.
The Blues have also missed Callum Hudson-Odoi, Antonio Rudiger, Reece James, Willian and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for some or all of their opening games – though all but the latter are expected to return shortly after the international break.
Lampard defends midfield departures
With Kante out injured, there have been talks of Chelsea’s midfield being stretched in the first few weeks of the season. The Blues have been able to call upon Jorginho, Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley among senior players so far, with teenager Billy Gilmour given a debut against Sheffield United.
This led to some questions on why Chelsea allowed the likes of Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoue Bakayoko to leave on loan. But Lampard defended the decision by emphasising the options he will soon have at his disposal.
He added: “Danny has been here for two years and hadn’t played many games. He was eager for his own benefit, which I felt was good for us.
“Bakayoko similarly was here for one season, went on loan and going on loan again to try to bring himself back to where he wants to be.
“If you want to talk midfield players we have got Jorginho, Kovacic, Kante, Mount, Barkley, Reece James coming back from injury who can play in midfield, Andreas Christensen who can play in midfield, I have to make decisions on the squad as a whole, that is my job.”