Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has confirmed that midfielder N’Golo Kante remains an injury doubt ahead of the weekend’s Premier League clash against Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Kante missed nearly the entirety of pre-season due to a knee injury concern but he has been able to start the season in a good shape with appearances in each of the opening three games.
However, speaking ahead of the Norwich clash, Lampard has revealed that the Frenchman has been carrying an ankle sprain through the week and a late fitness test may determine his involvement.
“N’Golo Kante has got an injury he has carried all week. We are going to assess that over the next 24 hours to see if he’s fit. It’s an ankle sprain,” he was quoted as saying by Chelsea’s official website.
Kante has been offered the freedom to romp forward from the central midfield under Lampard and he produced one of his best performances during the European Super Cup clash against Liverpool this month.
Though the Reds won through a penalty shoot-out, Kante undoubtedly caught the attention of many fans with his exceptional workrate, interceptions skills and ambition to drive forward with the ball on the counter attack.
As such, his potential absence will no doubt weaken the midfield, but Lampard will still be eyeing maximum points from the Norwich trip after the unfruitful beginning to the season under his tutelage.
Meanwhile, in the same press conference, Lampard acknowledged that Antonio Rudiger won’t be making a comeback until after the international break despite playing the full 90 minutes with the development side this week.
Rudiger has personally acknowledged that he does not want to rush his return after a long-term knee injury and Lampard seems to be going in the same route with the campaign just at the opening phase.