Chelsea fear that they will be without N’Golo Kante for at least three weeks after the midfielder suffered a hamstring injury while on international duty with France.
The Blues midfielder picked up the injury 34 minutes into Les Blues’ win over Bulgaria and was sent back to Chelsea’s Cobham training facility prior to their game against Belarus on Tuesday (10 October).
The London club’s medics have assessed Kante since his arrival and according to the Telegraph, they believe that he will be out for at least two to three weeks. Chelsea are yet to confirm the extent of the injury and set a timeframe for his return.
Kante is certain to miss Chelsea’s trip to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace this weekend (14 October), while fears are that he will also miss their Champions League double header against AS Roma. He could be absent for up to six games if the injury turns out to be as bad as first feared.
The French midfielder is a key member of Antonio Conte’s squad and played a crucial role in their title victory last season. He made 35 starts in the Premier League and even went on to win the PFA Player of the Year award in just his second season in the English top-flight.
The Italian coach will have to rely on summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas to fill void left by Kante in the upcoming games. Danny Drinkwater is also said to be on his way back from a calf injury that has prevented the England international from making his Blues debut since signing from Leicester City on transfer deadline day.
Chelsea are sweating not only over Kante’s injury. Alvaro Morata is also facing a race against time to be fit for their clash against Palace on Saturday. The Spanish forward picked up a hamstring injury during the Blues’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City prior to the international break, but his knock is not expected to be as bad as the French midfielder’s.
The former Real Madrid forward, who is unlikely to be fit for the clash against the Eagles, is hoping to return at the latest for Chelsea clash against Roma on 18 October.