Football News

Lampard “hopeful” N’Golo Kante will be fit to face Man Utd

By CJ Smith

Published: 16:59, 23 July 2019

Frank Lampard has insisted N’Golo Kane’s absence from Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Barcelona was just a precaution and that the midfielder could be fit for their Premier League opener at Man Utd.

The Blues beat the Spanish champions in their Rakuten Cup match in Japan, helping Chelsea bounce back from a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Kawasaki Frontale on Friday.

Will Kante be fit for Man Utd clash? Five key things to know…

  • Kante picked up an injury during Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Watford in May.
  • That meant the Frenchman missed their Europa League triumph over Arsenal.
  • He is also yet to feature in any of Chelsea’s four pre-season games so far.
  • Lampard sent Kante back to London to continue his rehabilitation.
  • And the Blues boss believes Kante will be fit to face Man Utd in their season opener.

Goals from Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley sealed the result for the Londoners but Kante was a notable absentee after being sent back to the club’s Cobham training base to continue his recovery from a knee problem sustained at the end of last season.

But Lampard has cooled fears surrounding Kante’s fitness, telling reporters in his post-match press conference his absence from the squad is a mere precaution.

“I sent him home a few days ago. Even though I said how good the trip has been for someone who is in their rehab, I think it has been more beneficial for him to be at Cobham with the facilities we have there,” he said.

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“It’s not a big backwards step that has been taken. He’s improving and hopefully by the time we get back and start training towards the weekend he will be in a position to pretty much join in with us.”

The new Chelsea manager also remained hopeful Kante will be available when his side travel to Old Trafford for their Premier League opener on August 11.

He added: “I hope so. I don’t like to get ahead of myself because he has not fully trained yet but the doctors are telling me it [should be fine].

“It wasn’t being conservative with him, it was more to have him do the best possible work.

“I am hopeful he will be ready for the start of the season and maybe it’s a [good] break for a player who has played so many games over the past few years at such a level in terms of output and energy.