Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has said that he has yet to make a decision over N’Golo Kante’s involvement during next weekend’s Premier League opener at Manchester United.
The France international missed most of the club’s pre-season campaign with a knee injury, and he only managed a 20-minute cameo during the final friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach on the road.
As such, he may not be up to speed for the curtain raiser on August 11 and Lampard has acknowledged that the midfielder would be assessed in the coming days to decide whether he can start against the Red Devils.
“Who knows if he can be ready for next week or not, we will work hard for that but we just have to be careful as he played so many games over the last three seasons, you don’t want to rush him back if it is going to be a negative but we will do our best to get him back,” he told the club’s official website.
Kante was rushed from a knee problem by Maurizio Sarri for the Europa League final triumph over Arsenal last term, and that has had a long-term effect with the midfielder going on to miss most of the club’s pre-season campaign.
As a result, Lampard will be wary of fielding Kante in the lineup for the season opener and he may continue to stick with Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho, who have formed an impressive partnership at the heart of the club’s midfield.
The only concern has lied with the gap between the midfield and defence when the opposition have lodged a counter-attack and hopefully, Lampard can sort the concern in training ahead of the crunch Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
Chelsea concluded their pre-season with a 2-2 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday. Alassane Plea and Jonas Hofmann gave the Bundesliga side with a 2-0 advantage in the first half. However, they were pegged back following the break with penalty goals from Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley.