Chelsea star N’Golo Kante looks set to miss the weekend game against West Bromwich Albion – and is a major doubt for their Champions League first-leg clash with Porto.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed the injury blow in his pre-match press conference, pencilling in a cautious return date as the second leg against Porto – on Tuesday, April 13.
Kante had to leave international duty with France early after returning to Chelsea with a hamstring problem. The 30-year-old played the entireity of France’s World Cup qualifier against Ukraine before feeling some discomfort after the match.
“Everybody was in training today, except N’Golo Kante who was doing individual work.” Tuchel said, addressing team news. “Everybody else was out on the pitch and that’s good news.”
Asked whether Kante would miss their Champions League quarter-final against Porto on Wednesday, Tuchel said: “Yes, probably.
“He is doing individual training and tomorrow the game and he can’t be with the squad.
“Then we have just three days to prepare. We have a muscle injury, as we communicated with the national team. So my realistic approach is to think about Porto, maybe the second game against Porto.”
Things were looking positive on the rest of the injury front for the German, though, with a clean bill of health across the defence – including the returning Thiago Silva.
“It’s the best situation you can have as a manager,” he said. “We can substitute players or replace players that are injured without a loss of quality.
“That is very good, gives us a good feeling. Tomorrow will see Thiago available and everyone else is fit. It’s the same with the goalkeepers.
“It’s very important to have this at this time of the season. We need everybody in top shape.”