Frank Lampard has issued a positive update on N’Golo Kante’s fitness by stating that he expects to have the Frenchman available again by the end of the week.
The 28-year-old has endured an injury-disrupted few months, suffering a hamstring injury before the end of last season before having issues with his knee over the past month.
Kante sat out France’s three international matches at the start of June due to the knee problem and then left Chelsea’s pre-season tour of Japan prematurely because of it.
The midfielder’s recent injury issues raised concerns that he could miss the start of the Premier League season but Lampard played down those fears following Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Barcelona.
‘Yeah, he is okay. It was a decision that I made because I felt that him being here, with the facilities and the moving, travel etc. that we have been doing, it probably wasn’t the most beneficial for him,’ he said.
‘He went back, has had a few days at Cobham, working well, progressing, so hopefully, by the time that we get back at the end of the week I will sit down with the doctor to hopefully know that he will be back with us very soon.’
Kante has been a pivotal member of the Chelsea squad since joining for £32m from Leicester City in 2016, missing only nine Premier League games from a possible 114.
Towards the end of last season, former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri accepted the blame for Kante’s hamstring injury against Watford by admitting that he had been overused.
Last season, Kante played in an unfamiliar box-to-box midfield role in Sarri’s 4-3-3 system but he looks likely to have a different role next term with Lampard using a 4-2-3-1 formation in pre-season.
Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic were entrusted to play in a double-pivot against Barcelona and both delivered promising performances as Chelsea secured an impressive win against the La Liga champions.