N’Golo Kante has been ruled out until after the international break as he continues to struggle with an ankle injury that he has been struggling with since pre-season.
Kante missed Chelsea’s win at Norwich last week due to the problem and has failed to shake it off in time for Saturday’s clash with Sheffield United.
Kante has also been omitted from the France squad for their upcoming games against Albania and Andorra and manager Frank Lampard hopes a further fortnight off will give him enough time to regain full fitness.
World Cup winner Kante also came into the season still dealing with a hangover from a knee injury that troubled him towards the end of last season.
Lampard said: ‘N’Golo Kante is not fit, so the continuation of his ankle problem and he won’t be travelling with the France squad either. I had a conversation with Didier Deschamps and we both agreed it’s the best thing for him. Let’s try and get him fit over the break.
‘It’s a setback, of course. My focus is then to make sure he’s okay. He’s had four years of constant football at an incredibly high energy and output level. We have to get that right.
‘We have a strong squad and the performance last week was very good. We have to be strong as a squad, and hopefully, we’ll do that.’
Chelsea will also be without winger Pedro, due to a hamstring problem, and defender Antonio Rudiger, against Sheffield United.
Youngsters Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James are also unavailable as they continue to work their way back to full fitness.
Rudiger will take what Lampard hopes will be the final step on his road to full fitness following knee surgery when Chelsea’s under-23s face Tottenham on Friday night.
Lampard said: ‘Pedro is not fit – should be the other side of the international break. Rudiger will play in the U23s tonight for the final time in terms of proper match fitness, then in contention after the break.”
Author: Moses Echodu
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